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Speed limit changes proposed for Porirua roads

Porirua City

Porirua City wants feedback on plans to lower speed limits on some roads to make them safer for all, particularly around schools.

At Council’s Te Puna Korero meeting last Thursday, Council voted to put the proposed speed management plan for Porirua out for public consultation.

Government rules, introduced last year, require a new approach to the management of speed on roads across New Zealand. While local councils are responsible for local roads, a new national framework is in place to improve how each Council plans, consults, implements and manages local roads and speed limits.

Similar proposals are being made by councils across the region as part of Waka Kotahi’s - which manages New Zealand’s major roads and highways - nationwide initiative, Road to Zero, for lower speeds.

Porirua’s newly developed speed management plan calls for:

- A permanent speed limit of 30 km/h at all times for non-arterial roads near schools, and for 30 km/h for arterial roads during peak times (variable speeds)

- A speed limit of 30 km/h near marae

- A speed limit of 30-40 km/h near the CBD and 30 km/h for Tākapūwahia, Kenepuru Landing, Plimmerton and Pāuatahanui townships

- Titahi Bay Rd and Papakōwhai Rd to decrease to 50 km/h

- Raising the speed of the Waitangirua Link Rd back up to 70 km/h

There are no speed limit changes proposed on the city’s main connector roads, such as Kenepuru Dr, Mungavin Ave, and Warspite Ave.

Porirua Mayor Anita Baker says the safety of everyone travelling Porirua’s roads is paramount for Council.

"With more emphasis on pedestrians and cycleways than ever before, it’s important we lower speeds where it is necessary to, like around our schools," she says.

"It might be a hassle for some people, but safety and people’s lives are more important than reaching your destination a few minutes earlier."

Between 2010 and 2022 there were 15 deaths, 218 serious injuries, and 988 minor injuries on Porirua’s roads. In total, 29 per cent (68 of 233) of serious injury and fatal crashes recorded speeds too fast for the conditions and/or was due to slopes or features of the road.

The speed limit along Raiha St was reduced from 70km/h to 50km/h last August. Prior to this an average five crashes were happening each year, but just one has been recorded since the alteration.

Consultation on Porirua’s speed management plan is open and runs until 12 June. The Council wants to hear all views on speed limits and traffic calming measures, and hearings for submitters will be held later in June.

Adoption of any new speed limits will occur in August, with permanent changes - focusing on speeds near schools and marae, and 70km/h areas, first - to be made in the coming 12 months.

The second phase, from 2024-27, will be about proposing traffic-calming measures, road narrowing and chicanes, subject to further investigation.

You can have your say here.

9 May 2023