AT seeks feedback on lower speed limit plan

March 11, 2019

AT seeks feedback on lower speed limit plan

Auckland Transport is planning to drop the speed limit to 30k/hr on many Auckland roads.

Auckland residents have until the end of March to have their say on Auckland Transport’s proposal to lower speed limits on some of the city’s roads.

Nine people have died on Auckland roads so far this year, according to the Ministry of Transport. AT says reducing speed will create safer roads around Auckland.

Joanna Glasswell, an AT senior media advisor, said AT was proposing to reduce speeds on approximately 10 per cent of Auckland’s roads. "Most of these are in rural areas, but the proposal also includes the city centre and some town centres where there are lots of people walking and cycling.”

In a media statement, AT chairman Lester Levy said Auckland was facing a road safety crisis. "Our top priority is to address this.”

Dr Levy said lowering the speed limit - to as low as 30km/h in some instances - is the most effective way to create safer roads.

Barney Irvine, principal advisor at the New Zealand Automobile Association, said 30km/h was not an appropriate or credible speed limit for the CBD and 40km/h would be better.

“40km/h is what the Transport Agency has recommended the safe and appropriate speed for central roads in the city.”

Auckland resident David Knepschled supports the proposal: “I think it’s good in the city to lower it to 30km/h but in rural areas, I don’t think it’s necessary.”

Another Auckland resident, Tarena George-Kumar, said: “It’s dumb isn’t it…I see the point, but is it really a good move?”

In a media statement, AT chief executive Shane Ellison said: “We appreciate that some parties believe 30km/h is too slow and that 40km/h is more appropriate, however, our first priority is peoples’ lives.”

The roads chosen for speed reductions are those with the greatest safety risk and a history of accidents and deaths.

Mr Irvine said: “Before we jump to reducing speeds on those arterial roads, let’s have a really good look at what can be done to maintain the current speed of those roads but improve the engineering of the roads so that the road environment is safer.

“You can change the speed limit but getting people to comply will not just be difficult but impossible,” he said.

The road safety programme is partly funded by the Regional Fuel Tax. Find out more about the proposal here:

https://at.govt.nz/projects-roadworks/safe-speeds-programme/speed-limit-changes-around-auckland/

Road death statistics:

https://www.transport.govt.nz/mot-resources/road-safety-resources/road-deaths/

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