Lower Speed Limit in Suburban Shopping Centres

11 August 2009

We're proposing to lower the speed limit from 50 km/h to 30 km/h in suburban shopping areas.

Starting with Aro Street and Tinakori Road, we plan to gradually lower speed limits over the next four years through most of the city's shopping areas, including Johnsonville, Brooklyn, Hataitai, Tawa, Khandallah, Kilbirnie, Seatoun, Strathmore and Wadestown.

"In Wellington City, 100 pedestrians are injured each year and 80 percent of those accidents occur in suburban shopping centres," says Stuart Bullen, the Council's Senior Traffic Engineer.

"Lowering the speed limit should substantially reduce these accidents and ensure that we have a more pleasant shopping environment." Stuart says over a number of years the Council has received many requests from people to reduce speed limits at the city's shopping areas.

"The worldwide trend is for lower speed limits in built-up areas. Most councils have lowered speed limits around schools, but this proposal to lower them through shopping areas is a first in this country." Stuart says the trend for lower speed limits is based on overseas research that shows there is a two to three percent reduction in the number of crashes for every kilometre that speeds are reduced. Lowering the speed limit also reduces the severity of those crashes.

On Aro Street, the 30 km/h speed limit would cover a distance of about 130 metres from 70 metres east of its intersection with Devon Street to 20 metres west of the intersection with Epuni Street. On Tinakori Road, the 30 km/h speed limit would cover a distance of about 170 metres from Upton Terrace to Lewisville Terrace.

Over the past few years, speed limits have been lowered from
50 km/h to 30 km/h along parts of Willis Street and Lambton Quay,
33 residential streets in Newtown and the Riddiford Street shopping area. This has resulted in a reduction in the severity of crashes along the 30 km/h section of Willis Street and Lambton Quay.

Public consultation on the proposed speed limit changes on Aro Street and Tinakori Road has started and we want to know what you think. Submissions close at 5.00pm, Friday 28 August.

If community support is strong for the proposals, and the Council approves the changes, the new 30 km/h speed limit should be in place by mid-December.

You can pick up a copy of the brochure and submission form from the Council Service Centre on Wakefield Street or the Central Library, or phone the Council on (04) 499 4444 - or visit the Public Input section and make your submission online.