Safer Speeds Review - Urban Roads

Status: Open
Feedback closes: 5pm on Friday 18 June

We want to make our roads safer for everyone who uses them – including pedestrians, drivers and cyclists. So as part of a nationwide project, NPDC has been reviewing speed on our urban and rural roads.

In all crashes, speed determines how badly injured a person is. By reducing vehicle speeds, we make our roads safer for all road users.

Late last year we talked with the community about safer speeds on our rural roads. Now we’re focusing on urban roads throughout our district (excluding state highways).

Safer speeds on urban roads

Right now we’re opening a discussion with our community to understand people’s sense of safety on our roads and consider what speeds might be desirable for increased safety. 

If NPDC were to follow how other districts in New Zealand are setting speed limits, some things we could see on are roads include:

  • Dropping the speed limit from 50km/h to 40km/h on some of our local roads (mostly residential streets).
  • Dropping the speed limit to 30km/h around all urban schools.
  • Dropping speed limits to 30km/h in our retail centres of Westown, Fitzroy, Bell Block and Waitara, and in a wider area of New Plymouth’s CBD. Note: centres such as Urenui, Inglewood, Moturoa and Ōākura are not included as they are state highways and under the control of Waka Kotahi/NZ Transport Agency.

The speed limit around urban schools would be variable (active only during drop-off and pick-up times) for schools on arterial routes, and permanent for schools on residential streets.

To see what these would look like for each urban road, please click on this map:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is NPDC doing this review?
This Safer Speeds Review is a result of the release of new speed management guidelines from NZTA in 2016, which requires all councils to review speed limits on their entire local road network in an effort to reduce road injuries and deaths. This early discussion with the community will help us draw up proposals for formal community consultation later on.

When will NPDC make any speed limit changes?
No decision has been made about whether speed limits will change. This initial feedback from the public will help us draw up proposals for formal community consultation later on.

How do I have my say?
Have a look at the map here, then fill in the feedback form here. We also have a public computer available in the Civic Centre foyer in New Plymouth for feedback.

Will all roads in urban areas drop to 40km/h?
If our later proposals follow nationwide moves around safer speeds, we’d be considering 40km/h speed limits on some of our local roads (mostly residential streets). For instance, major routes that connect suburbs and key industries – such and Mangorei Road and Carrington Street – would remain at 50km/h.
The 30km limit in New Plymouth’s CBD would extend to other retail centres, and 30km limits would be established outside schools – but we first want to hear what the public’s initial thoughts are.

Why doesn’t the Safer Speeds Review include state highways, like Inglewood’s Moa Street and New Plymouth’s St Aubyn Street?
State highways are managed by Waka Kotahi/NZ Transport Agency, which will do its own safety review.

Lowering speed limits will take me longer to get anywhere.
These lower speed limits aren’t much different from the speeds that people are usually driving on these roads. Also, lower speeds don’t substantially increase the time it takes to travel on our urban roads but they do substantially improve road users’ chances of avoiding serious injury and death. Waka Kotahi/NZTA has more information about the effect of lower speeds on travel times here.

Why are slower speeds safer?
According to Waka Kotahi/NZTA, the probability of death for a pedestrian rises as impact speed increase – it approximately doubles between 30km/h and 40km/h, and doubles again from 40km/h to 50km/h. The risk to vulnerable pedestrians, such as the elderly and young children, is even higher.