Boards urge simple approach to speeds

Publish Date : 08 May 2023
Traffic Speeds
Papakura and Manurewa Local Boards have urged a simple approach to road speeds, so that drivers can easily understand what speed they should be going.

A simpler approach to speed limits would make the roads safer, Papakura Local Board says as part of its feedback on Auckland’s Katoa, Ka Ora - Speed Management Plan 2024-2027.

Board chair Brent Catchpole says having an approach that is simple to understand should be the most important aspect of any plan.

“We need to be treating local roads as blocks, so that we don’t have a situation where we are chopping and changing between 30, 40 and 50km/h on similar residential roads.

“We have submitted that speed limits should be matched to the design of a road, so slower speeds in areas with high foot traffic and cycling, near schools and town centres, and where they have been designed for lower speeds.”

He says that should not mean speeds can’t be limited in other areas with high numbers of people, such as cultural facilities.

“We’d like to see places such as Papakura Marae, churches, the Gurdwara Sikh Temple, community facilities and sports fields all treated in the same way that schools are.

“Our feedback specifically asks that at Papakura Marae a 40km/h flashing speed limit sign be installed that the marae can activate at busy times.”

The board says lower speeds are a good way to reduce the risk of deaths and serious injuries but taking roads from 50 to 30km/h may be creating a hazard with drivers forced to constantly look at speedometers rather than the road.

The Papakura feedback was consistent with that of its Manurewa Local Board neighbours, where chair Glenn Murphy says members agreed consistency was the most important issue.

“Speed limits need to be consistent across the same type of roads. It’s not desirable to leave roads that could become ‘rat runs’.

“We would prefer changes are also permanent where possible, because that provides consistency and is more conducive to long-term behavioural change.”

Manurewa feedback included support for early implementation. “We believe it is preferable that changes planned for the 2024-2027 period are carried out as early as possible to allow road users the maximum time to adjust to any new speed limits.”

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