“Government on a collision course with community.” Speed limit reversal plan draws criticism from Christchurch councillors

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jul 03, 2024 |

Christchurch City Councillors have today discussed the government’s plans to reverse some speed limits –  with a mixed response.

The proposed changes focus on increasing speed limits on roads back to their original limits and reversing recent modifications.

This could mean increasing speed limits from 30 or 40 kph to 50 kph.

The Government plan also covers variable speed limits outside schools, but aims to maintain the speed limit around schools at 30 kph.

Council staff said that many of the proposed changes are “quite prescriptive, potentially limiting the council’s ability to work with communities to find solutions in the future.”

Councillor Sara Templeton highlighted areas like Opawa, where the community widely supported reduced speed limits.

She pointed out that the government now wants to reverse these changes.

“For a government that talked about localism and councils taking responsibility for their communities at the last election, they sure know how to mandate a whole pile of stuff out of Wellington,” Templeton said.

“Let us work with our communities to decide what speeds are the most appropriate, and don’t force us to make our streets less safe for our kids.”

Councillor Melanie Coker supported the council’s submission to the Government saying “The land transport rules will have ridiculous effects; there’s a lack of consistency. Anyone with a basic understanding of science, maths, or physics knows, the faster you go, the bigger the mess.

“It’s clear that this government is on a collision course with local government and the community. Maybe we should slow down, take our time, use evidence, and take a precautious and safe approach, rather than a slapdash approach that fails children, vulnerable road users, and local communities.”

Councillor Sam MacDonald said “I think if we drop the activist approach and take a considered governing approach as a collective body, that can only be a good thing in terms of getting outcomes out of Wellington, and then they will listen to us.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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