Posted speed limits around Auckland could soon drop further, with Auckland Transport announcing its proposed second round of changes, seeing the speed limit drop on some 800 different roads in the region.
The tweaks focus heavily on roads near schools, with AT noting that 462 roads cited in its shortlist are included based on their proximity to 57 different schools. For reference, there are over 500 schools in Auckland.
Beyond roads near schools, AT’s second biggest target are rural backroads. It says that 208 out of the approximate 800 roads are rural roads, AT adding that a bulk of these are based in South-East Auckland.
“Improving safety around schools is an area of focus for AT as well as central government,” says AT road safety engineering manager Michael Brown.
“These proposed changes will help to make it safer for children walking or cycling to school. […] Research shows there is strong community support for speed limit changes with 78 per cent of people supporting speed reductions around schools.”
On the proposed speed reductions on rural roads, Brown argues that “many drivers” already travel much slower than the speed limit on those roads due to the challenging nature of those roads.
Those who enjoy a spirited drive or ride in Franklin and the area bordering the Hunua Ranges, which feature some of the most enjoyable roads in Auckland, might get a rude awakening. It’s proposed that some of these roads have their speed limits brought down from 100km/h to 60km/h.
This includes the main stretch from Kawakawa Bay to Wharekawa; along Kawakawa-Orere Road, Orere-Matingarahi Road, and East Coast Road.
“On 90 per cent of these roads, many drivers are already travelling much slower than the current speed limit due to the conditions,” says Brown.
“In rural areas, that’s often because the roads are narrow and windy. And in urban areas, it’s due to things like speed humps, congestion and knowing that the current speed limit is not appropriate.
“While most of the changes we propose will simply bring the posted speed limit into line with the speeds people are already travelling, it is important that these changes are made. Speed limits that are set too high can become a target for drivers to aim for, plus they can prevent the police from addressing those travelling at unsafe speeds.”
These changes follow the implementation of AT’s previous round of speed limit changes. These included a raft of speed limit drops in Auckland’s Central Business District, from 50km/h down to 30km/h.
AT is currently taking the public’s feedback on the changes. Those wanting to make a submission can do so on the AT website until November 14, when submissions close.