New speed signs confusing residents

New lower speed signs in Christchurch are confusing some residents.

The Christchurch City Council is in the process of rolling out its safer speeds initiative. It's in response to safety concerns, and will see speed limits lowered from 50kmh to 30kmh in school zones, and surrounding streets.

Somerfield is one of the suburbs affected but resident Ken Bye said there's confusion around an inconsistency in where street signs have been installed.

"Cashmere View Street where we live, for example, is 30kms and it doesn't have a sign and it's made absolutely no difference to the speed of the people that travel down our street at all." 

He said more signage might help encourage road users to stick to the lower speed. The council said speed limit signs have been placed at the entrance to 30km neighbourhood areas, for drivers to see when leaving busier main roads.

"Unless a driver passes a sign with a higher speed limit, a driver should continue at the speed of the last sign observed. Gating every street with two signs and providing multiple repeaters can lead to signage clutter."

Somerfield residents like Ken believe the council needs to do more to make motorists aware of the safer speeds initiative.

"I had to go online to find a map to tell me that all the streets in this area of where we live are basically now 30kms."

He said the council needed to give reasons for the change, to encourage compliance.

Residents understand the rollout is in response to safety concerns, but many believe the new lower speed is too slow outside of school hours.

Ken said it's hard to go 30kmh because it feels very slow.

"If I'm standing here looking at the vehicles going past, I don't think there's a lot of them travelling at 30kms. However, if it does lead to a reduction in speed, then that is a plus."

The new school zone signs also display incorrect times, the zone finishes at 3pm, but the local school bell doesn't ring until 3:10pm.

Ken's urging the council to rethink how it's implementing the initiative, and ensure it make sense and has engagement from residents.

 - By Emily O'Hagan, made with the support of NZ On Air