From 12 March 2016 the speed limit for the heart of Christchurch’s Central City will be reduced from 50km/h to 30km/h.
Christchurch City Council transport operations manager Steffan Thomas said the change would help balance the requirements of all road users.
“The 30km/h speed limit will provide a safer transport network, along with more accessible Central City streets for everyone to travel, work and shop,” he said.
“The change is part of a number of transport projects under the An Accessible City programme of works and was influenced by the ‘Share and Idea’ campaign, which identified residents wanted the Central City to be safer for all forms of travel.”
Road safety charity Brake welcomed the announcement and said the reduction would help to protect people out on foot and bicycle, and encourage more active travel.
Having 30km/h speed limits in communities has been proven to be effective in protecting vulnerable road users in other countries and is becoming increasingly popular, particularly in Europe.
Caroline Perry, Brake’s NZ director said: “Everyone has a right to cycle or walk to work or for leisure, health or enjoyment, without fear or threat from fast traffic so it’s fantastic to see Christchurch City Council making the CBD 30km/h. Research shows that 30km/h limits in communities reduce the number of deaths and injuries and result in an increase in the number of people walking and cycling in those areas. We know fears about fast traffic prevent many adults and children from reaping the benefits of cycling and walking, so support measures such as this which both improve safety and encourage active travel.
“We need more 30km/h in communities and outside schools across New Zealand to enable people to walk and cycle in safety and help create safer and healthier communities.”