Council wants to lower city’s speed limits

The Invercargill City Council is proposing a drop in speed limits on a majority of its roads in what it says is an effort to reduce deaths and serious injuries.

Councillors approved the proposal during the council’s infrastructure services committee meeting earlier this week which will now be put out for consultation.

Council roading manager Russell Pearson said the council was proposing to work towards speed limits of 40kmh in urban areas and 60kmh in rural areas.

In the city centre and suburban shopping streets such as Windsor and South City Rds, limits would drop to 30kmh.

The council wanted to reduce speed limits in school areas to 40kmh for urban schools and 60kmh for those in rural areas.

Mr Pearson said the review was part of a wider approach from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s "Road to Zero" safety strategy, which aimed to reduce serious injuries and road deaths.

"What we do know is that speed is a contributing factor of most crashes.

"What we do know is the faster you go, the bigger is the mess."

It was also important to reduce speed limits in the CBD as the council was aiming to create a more pedestrian-friendly area, he said.

Mr Pearson believed the matter would spark a great number of submissions from residents, and the council was open to hearing any specific feedback before making any final decision.

Cr Nigel Skelt said the council should show leadership on the matter and act sooner rather than later.

"For me tomorrow’s too late for any loss of life, to be honest, — it has to happen today. In fact, yesterday is too late."

Cr Graham Lewis questioned the school speed limits.

He said they could cause some confusion for drivers as they would still need to reduce their speed limits to 20kmh when passing school buses.

Mr Pearson said he was aware of that risk, and the council would be working with schools to make sure the traffic rules and proposed bylaw could be effectively followed by drivers.

Consultation starts tomorrow and will close on March 7.

Hearings will take place on March 22 and if approved, the roading and traffic bylaw would come in effect on July 1.




A question for the council. How many of the serious accidents occur within the 40 - 50 kph limit? The proposed changes will make little difference if most accidents occur above the current 50 kph limit.