Sweeping Speed Reductions to 30kmh Proposed for Wellington Study

Wellington, NZ

Traffic speed reductions to 30kmh are proposed for many urban streets in the NZ city of Wellington, with the city council instructing its officers to prepare a speed management plan.

A meeting of Wellington City Council last week endorsed a staff recommendation to examine the feasibility of 30kmh speed limits for all non-arterial roads, as well as arterial roads in the central city and town centres, near Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa, public housing, schools, suburban shops and where cycling or pedestrian safety warrants slower speeds.

The meeting added kindergartens, playcentres, early childhood education facilities as locations to be given priority for the lower speed limit.

The council resolution proposed even lower speed limits for some street, such as an existing 10kmh in the city’s cultural centre, Cuba Street.

In addition, the meeting proposed the plan consider a 40 kmh limit for most other arterial streets. It suggested retaining the existing 50kmh limit for a few arterial roads, as well as the city’s regional, national and high-volume roads.

Council officers are expected to prepare a draft speed management plan and report back to council, before the draft is presented to the community in mid-2023 for comment.

Initial engagement with the principals of five Wellington schools revealed consensus that reducing traffic speed is essential and needs to sit alongside infrastructure improvements.

However, some principals had greater concerns about safe road crossings.

Last week’s meeting also called on staff to continue liaising with Greater Wellington Regional Council and other councils in the area to achieve a consistent regional approach to speed management.

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