Saving lives in Tāmaki Makaurau: Public consultation approved for third phase of safe speed limits

Auckland has a significant problem with people dying and being seriously injured on our roads.

In 2020, 526 people were either killed or seriously injured on our roads. These deaths include a growing number of people who were not in vehicles – particularly pedestrians.

This gut-wrenching statistic is unacceptable and Auckland Transport (AT) - working with partners Waka Kotahi and the Ministry of Transport - is doing everything it can to make sure every one of us gets home safely.

Part of this plan is to deliver safe, more appropriate speed limits for Auckland’s roads and today AT’s board approved the next phase of consultation on its proposal to amend the Speed Limits Bylaw 2019.

This means that from the first half of 2022, AT will seek public feedback on a third phase of proposed safe speed limits. This includes reviewing speed limits on approximately 1418 km of roads (19 per cent of the AT road network) for possible reductions.  

In 2020, safe and appropriate speed limits were introduced on more than 600 roads across Auckland. This included the city centre, high risk rural roads, residential areas and the town centres of Ōtāhuhu, Orewa, Mairangi Bay and Torbay.

Speed limit changes were then implemented in St Heliers, Mission Bay and West Lynn town centres - as AT completed the first group of roads under the Speed Limits Bylaw 2019.

The second consultation phase of proposed speed limits (September – November 2021) was a mix of roads near schools, marae and town centres; as well as urban, residential and rural roads. AT received 8,413 submissions and is now reviewing each one.

Phase three of the proposed speed limit changes for next year includes Takapuna, Devonport and Glen Innes town centres. Schools will feature prominently again, with 980 roads near schools. The proposal also includes high risk rural roads in areas including Waiheke and the Āwhitu Peninsula.

Safe and appropriate speed limits sits alongside driver education, safety cameras, and investment in road infrastructure - as part of a holistic approach being taken by AT.

AT’s Chief Executive Shane Ellison says Aucklanders strongly support lower speed limits around schools – to protect children walking and cycling.

“Devastatingly, there were 57 pedestrians and 15 people on bikes who were killed on Auckland roads between 2014 and 2020. This is unacceptable. Safe speeds is one part of AT’s proactive approach to create a safe system for people walking and cycling, along with safer separated cycleways and other work.”

“One of the most effective ways of keeping these vulnerable people safe on our roads is to reduce speeds. Speed determines the likelihood of a crash and the severity of the outcome. We are pleased to move forward on this third phase of proposed safer speeds.”

“We have seen success from our previous speed limit changes. Roads where speed limits were changed on 30 June 2020 have experienced a 67 per cent reduction in deaths and a 19 per cent reduction in injury crashes. This is great news, but we still have more to do.”

Public consultation for phase three of safe speed limits will likely begin in the first half of 2022 - with feedback open for a minimum of four weeks.

AT’s Safe Speeds programme supports its Vision Zero goal of zero deaths and serious injuries on Auckland’s roads by 2050.  

For more information on the Safe Speeds programme, click here.