Saturday, May 25, 2024

Wellington speed plan pulled from public consultation

Public engagement on Wellington City Council’s Draft Speed Management Plan has been halted after a significant error was found in consultation papers.

City Council Chief Planning Officer, Liam Hodgetts, put the brakes on public consultation after Councillor, Tony Randle identified a technical error in the equations of the benefit cost ratios (BCR) outlined in the draft plan. 

The error discovered by Cr Randle has been verified by City Council officers and an independent review by a transport economist, Council said in a statement today.

Mr Hodgetts says the calculation error adjusts the safety figures for under-reporting twice rather than once, resulting in an overstatement of the safety benefits being used in the BCR that was an input into your decision-making in April. This error has a significant effect on the BCR values presented to the P&E Committee in April, he said.

“To find a mistake in the BCR that was externally and independently peer-reviewed is very disappointing and I apologise for the error – this should not have happened,” said Mr Hodgetts.

He said Wellington was still required to meet the terms of the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022 rule.  

Mayor, Tory Whanau said she was disappointed that the error had occurred. 

“Elected officials rely on the accuracy of information from council officers in making decisions, and the public when they submit their views as part of the consultation process. In this case, accuracy was lacking. We have reviewed the situation to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” she said.

“I do want to express my support of Council officers. They have a big workload dealing with complex issues. While they get it right most of the time, they are only human, and errors do sometimes happen.” 

Council staff intend to schedule a workshop and briefing for elected members in August to discuss a new approach, including the parameters of a new speed management plan, how it will proceed and how it will ensure the transparency and rigor of the process. 

In the meantime, officers will be contacting submitters – to apologise and to explain the next steps in this process, the Council said.

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