Community to have a say on safer speed limits

7 September 2015

Wellington City Council is asking people what they think about the proposed introduction of safer speed limits in six areas.

Khandallah shopping centre

Submissions are being sought on the proposed reduction of the speed limit to 30km/h in five suburban shopping areas: Berhampore, Khandallah, Ngaio, Northland, and Wadestown. Submissions are also being sought on the proposed reduction of the speed limit to 50km/h on a portion of Happy Valley Road.

From 2007 to 2014, a total of 68 crashes resulting in injury were reported in or near these five shopping areas, 18 of which caused injuries to pedestrians.

Councillor Andy Foster, Chair of the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee, says the safer speed limits are part of the Council’s strategy to improve safety on Wellington’s roads.

“Lower speed limits make our streets safer and more pleasant for all road users – whether you’re walking, in a car, on a motorbike, or riding a bike.

“By lowering the speed limit, we can reduce the number of crashes overall and reduce the risk of people being seriously injured or killed. This is particularly important in suburban shopping centres where there are significant numbers of people on foot and needing to cross the road.”

“Vehicles travelling at lower speeds have a shorter stopping distance – a few more metres can make all the difference.”

Cr Foster says safer speed limits in Wellington are in line with the national road safety strategy, Safer Journeys, which includes the principle of shared responsibility – from the people who design the roads to everyone who uses them.

“It’s based on human physiology and setting speeds that allow people the best possible chance to avoid death or serious injury in the event of a crash.

“In Christchurch, the city centre will have a safer speed limit and Auckland is planning the same for new suburbs. Many cities in Europe, the USA and Australia have already put lower speed limits in place or are doing so.

“If we create an environment where more people feel it is safe to walk or ride bikes then there is less congestion on our roads – so all road users benefit.”

Once consultation is completed and submissions have been considered, the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee will discuss the final proposals at their December meeting.

If adopted, it is expected the new speed limits will come into effect in early 2016.

Freepost submission forms have been delivered to residents and property owners in the areas.

Submission forms can also be picked up from the Council’s service centre on Wakefield Street and libraries, otherwise phone 04 499 4444.

Submissions can be made online, emailed or posted.

People have until 5pm, Monday 12 October to submit their opinions on the safer speed limit.

The Council has already introduced lower speed limits in: Aro Valley, Brooklyn, Hataitai, Island Bay, Kelburn, Kilbirnie, Miramar, Newtown, Seatoun, Strathmore Park and Thorndon.

More details

The total number of injuries reported in these areas from 2007-2014 were:

  • Berhampore: 28 injuries (9 resulted in injuries to pedestrians)
  • Khandallah: 7 injuries (4 resulted in injuries to pedestrians)
  • Ngaio: 16 injuries (1 resulted in injuries to a pedestrian)
  • Northland: 10 injuries (1 resulted in injuries to a pedestrian)
  • Wadestown: 7 injuries (3 resulted in injuries to pedestrians)

Analysis of crash data comparing statistics from 2007-2009 to statistics from 2012-2014:

  • 37% reduction in injury crashes for all Wellington City roads
  • 82% reduction in injury crashes within the shopping centres where the 30km/h speed restriction has been introduced
  • 24% reduction in the shopping areas where 30km/h restrictions have been approved but not introduced 
  • continuing downward trend in the number of crashes causing injury in each year since the introduction of the 30km/h restrictions in 2010 and 2011
  • increasing numbers of crashes causing injury since 2012 in those shopping areas where the 30km/h restriction has not been introduced.