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Lambton Quay speed limit 30km/hr from next week

1 June 2006

Lambton Quay speed limit 30km/hr from next week

Drivers using Lambton Quay – and lower Willis Street as far as Manners Street – will be travelling slower from Tuesday 6 June when the speed in the area comes down to 30km/hr.

The new speed limit will also apply to Mercer Street, the tiny stretch of Customhouse Quay between Lambton Quay and Hunter Street, the bus-only section of Bunny Street and at the Lambton Interchange.

Lowering the speed through the area was recommended by Wellington Coroner Garry Evans last year following a fatal accident in Willis Street and public support for the change has been high.

Of the 143 people and groups that made submissions on the plan late last year, 101 supported the proposal and another 12 agreed the speed should be lowered subject to conditions.

Deputy Mayor Alick Shaw says the lower speed is more appropriate for New Zealand’s premier shopping street and better reflects the speed many drivers already travel through this area.

“Most people who use this area are on foot,” he says. “The lower speed limit will make it easier and safer for them to shop and go about their business. By making the busiest part of the city more pedestrian friendly, it will be an even more attractive place to spend time, which will have benefits for retailers and businesses.”

Cr Shaw says civilised cities and shopping areas are places where pedestrians rule.

“In Wellington we are not doing that by creating malls but by making our main shopping streets safer.”

Lowering the speed limit is expected to reduce the number of accidents and the severity of those that do happen in most instances. Statistics show pedestrians have a 90 percent chance of survival if they are hit by a car travelling at 30km/hr or below but less than a 50 percent chance of surviving if the vehicle is travelling 45km/hr or more.

In the past five years (2000-2004) there have been 104 crashes reported in the Lambton Quay area, a third involving pedestrians. Evidence shows that every 1km/hr speeds are lowered should produce a two to three percent reduction in the number of crashes.


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