Wellington CBD speed limits change to 30km/h on Sunday 19 July

From this Sunday (19 July), the speed limit on most of Wellington’s central city streets will change from 50km/h to 30km/h (main roads will remain at 50km/h).

Lowering the speed limit to 30km/h in the central city is one of the early deliverables under the Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) programme – aimed at making the central city safer and more pleasant for people walking and on bikes.

Wellington City Councillors unanimously approved the speed limit changes on 11 June. The 30km/h speed limit takes effect when the signs are installed.

More than 200 30km/h speed limit signs have been installed on streets where the speed limits will change. Road markings will be updated from around mid-September when weather improves.

Councillor Jenny Condie, the Council’s Associate Transport Portfolio lead, says the 30km/h speed limits are a big change for the city and people should take extra care on their Monday morning commute, and as they go about their daily business in the central city.

“It’s going to take a little while for everyone to adjust so we’re encouraging drivers to look out for the 30km/h signs, slow down and give people space. Lowering the speed in Wellington’s CBD is part of making longer-term changes for people walking, biking and using public transport that are at the heart of other cities around the world.”

A two-week radio and online awareness campaign started on Wednesday 15 July to remind people about the speed limit change. Drivers travelling through the city are encouraged to use the main roads, such as the waterfront Quays, Vivian Street, Karo Drive, Taranaki Street and Kent and Cambridge Terraces which remain at 50km/h.

Mayor Andy Foster says, “Extending the existing 30km/h speed limit on the Golden Mile to most of the other streets in the area comes at the same time as Let’s Get Wellington Moving is asking for feedback on how the Golden Mile itself could be improved. Our overall aim is to make a safer and more attractive central city, providing better amenity for street-level cafes, restaurants, outdoor public spaces and parks, and encouraging more people to walk, bike, and spend time.”

Chair of Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Transport Committee Roger Blakeley says, “The measure of any modern city is the ease and safety of getting around. Reducing speeds will make smaller streets quieter and safer to move around as traffic shifts to major roads. This will make Wellington’s city centre a much more pleasant environment for people walking, cycling and catching public transport.”

With a growing population, it’s crucial more of us use public transport, walk or bike. Safer central city speeds will help to encourage this.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Senior Manager Robyn Elston says Let’s Get Wellington Moving brings together transport improvements and urban development to create the kind of city people want to live and work in. Reducing speeds in the central city brings us a step closer to that.

“We also need to acknowledge the important role the road network plays in moving people and goods to and through the city. Retaining a 50km/h speed limit on the main roads gives a strong direction on where the through traffic should go,” says Ms Elston.

Let’s Get Wellington Moving’s vision is for Wellington to be a great harbour city, accessible to all, with attractive places, shared streets, and efficient local and regional journeys.

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