Thursday, July 18, 2024

Speed limits fall in Banks Peninsula

Speed limits will be lowered on more than 500km of streets in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula as part of the Safe Speed Neighbourhoods Programme, Christchurch City Council has announced.

One of the action items in New Zealand’s Road to Zero Strategy is to have safe speed limits around all schools by the end of 2027, with an interim target of 40% of schools by June 2024.  

“This target aligns with the Council’s goal of improving safety on local roads and is a key priority for us. We want people in the community to get where they’re going safely regardless of how they travel,” says Council Transport Operations Manager, Stephen Wright.

“We’re prioritising streets, neighbourhoods and settlements around schools to make it safer for whānau to get to and from school.

“Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has changed the way speed limits are set which encourages us to implement an area-wide approach for consistency, especially around schools, using permanent 30km/h speed limits,” he said.

On the city’s busier roads, such as Riccarton Road and Papanui Road, the Council proposes to use variable 30km/h speed limits that will operate during school start and finish times only.

“No one expects to crash, but mistakes happen – including by people who are usually careful and responsible drivers. Regardless of the cause of a crash, speed is the difference between someone being able to walk away relatively unharmed, or being seriously injured or killed,” Mr Wright says.

The current consultation has planned changes for the next two to three years. However, a 10-year plan is being developed for short and long-term speed changes.

“We’ve heard community concerns about vehicles travelling at excessive speeds through local streets and to address these, we’ve been introducing lower speed limits through the Slow Speed Neighbourhood Programme.

“We installed five Slow Speed Neighbourhoods in the last year, and there is funding for five more this year and five in the following year,” he said.

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