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Should We Put The Brakes On Urban Vehicle Speeds?

A fresh look at how to make sure everyone gets home alive has been launched by NPDC.

The Safer Speeds Review is focusing on urban roads in all towns in New Plymouth District, with early public feedback opening today (Monday).

“It’s well-known that speed determines how badly injured a person is in a traffic crash – ten or twenty kilometres per hour can be the difference between serious injury and getting home on time,” says NPDC Group Manager Planning and Infrastructure David Langford.

“We all make mistakes; we don’t deserve to die from them. Bringing in safer speeds is something we can do now as a community to save lives but before we draw up any formal proposals for speed limit changes, we want to hear what locals think.”

The review aims to increase the safety of all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and school students.

If NPDC were to follow how other districts in New Zealand are setting speed limits, some things we could see on are roads include:

• Dropping the speed limit from 50km/h to 40km/h on some of our local roads (mostly residential streets).

• Dropping the speed limit to 30km/h around all urban schools.

• Dropping speed limits to 30km/h in our retail centres of Westown, Fitzroy, Bell Block and Waitara, and in a wider area of New Plymouth’s CBD. Note: centres such as Urenui, Inglewood, Moturoa and Ōākura are not included as they are state highways and under the control of Waka Kotahi/NZ Transport Agency.

The speed limit around urban schools would be variable (active only during drop-off and pick-up times) for schools on arterial routes, and permanent for schools on residential streets.

A map that shows the potential speed limits changes on individual urban roads, as well as a feedback form, is online at newplymouthnz.com/HaveYourSay. Feedback closes on Friday 18 June.

This survey follows a review of rural roads at the end of last year, which received 730 responses. The information received from these reviews is helping NPDC to draft proposals for our roads that will be part of a future, formal public consultation.

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