After months of delays, next week the Auckland Transport board are set to make a decision on the proposal to change the speed limits on 700km of roads that they consulted on earlier this year. That 700km of roads was largely in rural areas but also included the proposal to make the entire city centre 30km/h.

As we’ve heard previously, AT received a significant number of submissions with more than 11,700 made as well as submissions from 51 stakeholder groups including local boards.

There is a substantial amount of information that they’ve now published in about the consultation and analysis they’ve subsequently conducted with multiple reports totalling over 300 pages of information and a similar number again for draft bylaws for two of the three options they’re presenting to the board. The three options are:

Option 1 –

Defer the decision on the bylaw and direct a reassessment of the speed limits proposed and/or other travel speed measures.

Choosing one would represent gross negligence from the board. Given everything that’s happened up to this point I simply can’t imagine they would choose it.

Option 2

Make the bylaw in a form that implements the proposed speed limit changes on all roads with minor modifications and staged implementation – as drafted in Attachment 8;

This option would see the original proposal implemented with just some minor changes. These changes include some slight tweaks to where a new speed limit zones start and end on a few roads. For example it would now extend the 10km/h zone on Federal St across Wellesley St to cover the shared space being constructed. The biggest change appears to be the timing. Instead of implementing all speed limit changes across the region on the same day, these would now be spread out and AT say:

Rather than one single date of implementation a staged implementation is proposed to enable successful execution of implementation, more focussed enforcement activities and take account of work being done with resident and business associations in St Heliers and Mission Bay to review the need and design of proposed low speed zones. The dates for any speed limit changes for these town centres takes account of the work currently in progress.

It appears from the bylaw we won’t see any implementation until the end of June 2020 with some areas not completed till 2021.

They also say that this option provides the maximum safety outcomes and has the advantage of being consistent

Option 3

Make the bylaw in a form that implements, on a staged basis, all proposed speed limit changes except for on roads not categorised as high risk and where there is significant preference for the status quo, with adjustments to the speed limits to take account of implementation of enhanced engineered safety features on key arterials in the City Centre to make those roads safe and appropriate (as drafted in Attachment 9). This option will deliver broadly equivalent DSI outcomes to the Option 2 DSI outcomes

During the consultation there was a lot of noise from some corners about having blanket 30km/h speed limits in the city centre. The AA were particularly vocal about this and were calling for the large central city streets of Fanshawe, Hobson and Nelson Streets to remain at 50km/h – even though AT research showed that with all the traffic lights, most people were only able to average about 30km/h anyway. Six other ‘key stakeholders’ also opposed the proposal including courier companies, trucking organisations and Ports of Auckland – who also claim Beach Road and Tangihua St should be ‘higher speed environments’.

Despite being large not very attractive arterials, Fanshawe, Hobson and Nelson Streets also have high numbers of pedestrians, especially on the latter two which sit either side of the densest residential population in the country. Given the deaths and serious injuries that have occurred on these streets in the past, AT simply can’t ignore them. Option 3 is therefore the compromise option and proposes those streets instead be changed to 40km/h. There are no changes to other streets in the overall proposal other than some slightly different implementation timing for a few locations.

This option also costs $5-10 million more as they will need more engineering solutions to achieve the safety benefits – a 30-60% increase on implementation costs for Option 2 while in the city it delivers 96.8% of the benefits.

The three options above were whittled down from an initial long list of 49 options following the consultation. AT say every single road was assessed against a number of criteria including

  • The reason for including the road within the original proposed bylaw (risk, function, use, design and network legibility)
  • Consultation feedback
  • Speed (operating speed, proposed speed limits and existing speed limits)
  • NZTA Guidance (MegaMaps and Speed Management Guide):
    • the safe and appropriate speed,
    • the top 10% high benefit roads
    • operating speeds
  • Traffic volume
  • Risk rating of the road (NZTA MegaMaps)
  • Crash data (deaths and serious injuries)
  • Strategic documents such as the Auckland Plan 2050 and Auckland Vision Zero for Tāmaki Makaurau: A Transport Safety Strategy and Action Plan to 2030

If you want to know about a specific road, there is a large table with the results for every road in the options report.

If you’re interested in reading all the material, the links to each of the papers is below

The AT board should stick to the evidence and to their budgets and select option 2.

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    1. The general thing when it comes to speed limits is that most people want a low speed limit where they live yet want higher speed limits along the routes the travel.

      So when it comes to submissions you will generally get those who want a lower speed limit where they live writting in about getting it lowered near them and then making no comment on the other places that they don’t care as much about.

      You also get the fact they did 700km all at once, you can almost guarantee everyone will support something even if they disagree or don’t bother to look at 99% of what is proposed.

      In essence the consultation process was flawed and I don’t really know how much value the results really are from it.

      1. Yes. Would be interesting to put a weighting on the circumstances of submitters. I’d expect a majority of people who live on Nelson/Hobson St would support 30km/h.

        1. And we know that these voices are underrepresented in feedback processes.

          AT should just use the evidence ffs and let the outcomes do the talking.
          It was a few privileged voices that got us this vehicle domination, we can’t expect the same interests to suddenly reject what they created because of external impact. All I wanna say is that they don’t really care about us

      2. AT consultation isn’t really consultation anyway. That word gives the impression that people can put in their 2c and affect the outcome. They can’t, and AT just do what they want anyway. This is what you’ll find for any road works, refuge islands, bus stops/ shelters, traffic calming, No Stopping lines etc. So on that note, I can’t for the life of me figure out why they can’t just implement speed limit signs straight away.

        1. The RMA requires them to coinsult. But as you say they don’t have to listen, thanlk goodness ro nothing would ever get done in do nothing Auckland.

          For some people a crappy status quo is better than a iny risk of a worse outcome, regardless of overwhelming evidence it will be better.

        2. Actually it’s the Setting of Speed Limits Rule that requires that they consult on changes to speed limits. Personally, I’d rather that we had consultation on region/area-wide speed management plans only and then just get on with it…

    2. Is there really support for their proposal? 1562 people supported what they want to do out of 11,700 submissions. It looks to me like most people want something else.
      The support in the group of 51 stakeholders is stronger but who are these ‘stakeholders’? Looks like a bunch of one trick ponies bulked out with AT’s own contractors. “100% of firms that get money from AT support whateverthefuck AT wants” type of thing.

      1. It’s a matter of how you read it. There’s always gonna be far less people who are inclined to just voice plain confirmation for stuff because it just feels less personally productive than expanding dialogue from a point of difference. Kind of like what you do on this blog everyday. A better understanding of the support for these moves can be read from the number of submissions asking for the same on streets further away from the city centre…

        1. Maybe it all comes down to whether the results support a predetermined position or not. In this case they found those who supported their specific proposal were about 3/4 of those who oppose it. Then they saw that those who support them in general were about 3/4 of those who oppose them in general (2500 vs 3300). So rather than saying support is around 75% of opposition they then did a graphic of support vs opposition based on their pet stakeholders as that gave them the answer they wanted.

        2. how are you reading requests for speed limit reductions elsewhere as opposition.

          I made my point about what results you can expect asking people to input into a “finished product” then counting just those who say ‘thats exactly, 100%, what I wanted’ and counting that number against every individual comment of dissent.
          Regardless this wasn’t a vote. that will happen in the boardroom by people hopefully with more courage and rationality than to believe safety should be compromised for petty ratepayer politics or whatever you are trying to say lol

        3. They are not opposing. They are requests for something else. You can’t include them as support for the stated proposal unless you are juking the stats.

        4. 🙂 Toting up support and opposition to specific concepts that weren’t even directly asked about – juking the stats?

          I’d go further. I’d call their analysis of the feedback a waste of our money. TfL and other transport authorities don’t do this cringe-worthy risk-averse analysis that actually just delays projects.

          If they were going to use the feedback wisely, it would be to take the issues raised, see how to incorporate them into the programme, and move on.

          Instead, they delayed last year because they got scared, they delayed by many months to produce this over-analysis, then they delayed for the election.

          Going by that history, I guess choosing option 1 is reasonably likely…

  1. My goodness, since when safety is a matter of preference? “where there is significant preference for the status quo” – AT’s role is to show leadership here, obviously there’s resistance to change, since everyone assumes it’s not going to be them to wear the price of someone’s speeding. But we know that speeds over 30km/h significantly increase the risk of death and serious injury. We also know that due to slack policing a 40km/h speed limit would be like 50km/h, particularly without any other changes to the roads.
    I do certainly hope they’ll go for option 2.

    1. Yes, the phrase “where there is significant preference for the status quo” jumped out at me yesterday.

      It’s a phrase showing an incredible failure to understand equity in safety. They are supposed to be the experts, giving options based on evidence.

      Not on politics. AT should be ashamed.

    2. I guess the whole process became a matter of preference when the decided speed limits should be set according to their preference rather than based on evidence.

      1. Surely the evidence is subjective- for example if we wanted airplane level safety the speed limit would need to be very close to zero. How can you possibly have evidence of a safe speed limit unless that limit is 0?

        1. It’s true that all these decisions have to be compromises between safety and other goals. However if your graph of average speed versus rate of death and injury is exponential (which it is, because of Newton’s laws, f=ma), and there is a significant inflection point (that is, above such and such speed the damage tends to increase disproportionately), then that’s probably nature’s way of saying that the speed is too high. This is why we have any speed limits at all.
          That’s before considering the disamenity to bystanders and residents from speeding traffic, which is a significant non-safety issue.

    1. I’d suspect they would have a reasonable idea.

      Of the 3 options, option 1 would have the best chance of getting the safest result, followed by options 3 then option 2.

      I say this because simply changing the posted speed limit doesn’t have a very big impact on actual vehicle speeds. You really need to implement engineering measures to get the best result.

      1. Richard – “simply changing the posted speed limit doesn’t have a very big impact on actual vehicle speeds. You really need to implement engineering measures to get the best result”

        Really? Are you sure of that?

      2. It worked for the person driving at 50kmh who came up behind me driving at 30kmh on Westhaven drive on Sunday Richard…

      3. Engineering measures can help improve desired speed changes, but people do take some consideration of the posted speed limit, even if nothing else changes. As a rough rule of thumb, based on past evidence in NZ and elsewhere, for every 10kmh change in posted limit, you would typically see a 2-3kmh change in mean speeds with that alone. While that might not seem much, that would typically translate to at least a 10% reduction in fatals (ref: Nilsson’s speed-crash power models). If that’s not enough, then start looking at engineering tweaks as well.

        1. The last time I lived through a large scale decrease in speed limits was in Belgium, when they dropped (with some hiccups) the speed limit on many roads from 90 to a mix of 70 and 50. I’m pretty sure the mean speed actually dropped by roughly 20 km/h. That was with almost no supporting engineering tweaks.

          Is there any idea why over here the drop is so low? Lack of enforcement? Uniquely crappy drivers?

        2. Roeland, presumably there was quite a bit of associated education and marketing also at the same time? Was enforcement stepped up? These things can have an additional effect; without knowing more specifics, I couldn’t explain further. In NZ, when the open road speed limit dropped to 80kmh in 1973 due to the oil shocks there was actually pretty good compliance with the 80k limit because socially it was expected that everyone would “do their bit” to conserve fuel.

        3. There was publicity of course. Such measures attract a lot of resistance. I think enforcement also stepped up.

          Many intersections have red light cameras, these also can detect speeding. Look out for unmarked cars parked in unusual spots. Etc.

          Contrast this with NZ, where we can’t even be bothered with red light cameras on intersections where we know people occasionally get hit by red light runners.

    1. We don’t use ‘democracy’ to decide details of safety in other spheres of life. Worksafe safety, aviation safety, railway safety, hospital safety – we don’t get to vote on these. If there was any aspect on those subjects that they needed public input about, consultation wouldn’t override the experts’ opinion, it would provide information to demonstrate the best application of it.

      1. Exactly. There is a point on every issue at which narrow “populist” views have to give way to wider strategic objectives that are not determined by sectional interests. There’s a good reason why we employ experts – and why we don’t leave important safety and technical decisions to “the people” or to politicians where these sectional interests can dominate. So many worthwhile and progressive initiatives have fallen at the hurdle of NIMBYism dressed up as a kind of pseudo-democracy.

        1. Safety is only one element of transport though, not the be all and end all. Yes, experts should provide safety guidance. But it should be up to society to decide the importance of this information. It should be the public that decide the weighting given to safety considerations as part of wider transport considerations, and the risk society is comfortable with on the whole.

        2. Only as far as deciding to participate or not. So if you don’t like what the aviation experts decide, don’t fly. If you don’t like what the railway experts decide, don’t take the train. If you don’t like what the workplace experts say, don’t work in that workplace.

          If you don’t like driving at safer speeds, don’t drive.

          You have no right to inflict danger on others. But everyone has the right to a safe network. Fetishes like driving fast can take place on race tracks, away from the public.

      2. +1 – Excellent point.

        I’ve flown on 100s of flights. That makes me as much of an authority on aircraft engineering as it does on road engineering and design. i.e 2/3rds of F#ck all!

        There would never be a consultation on what type of wiring Air NZ should put in a plane.

        Logically speaking the same should apply to this sphere also.

        Fun fact – more people die on our roads than they do in plane crashes… But somehow Bill from down the road who has been driving for 50 years is an authority on the subject. Shut your trap Bill and let the experts do their job. 🙂

        More evidence based policy making paaahhhhlease. Crack on and GSD!

      3. No we don’t use democracy in those areas, we use facts and analysis to form evidence. AT have chosen to disregard facts and analysis and base it all on opinion instead. They appeared to have ignored the NZTA Safe and Appropriate Speed Limits MegaMaps tool. Or in some cases it looks like they have done the exact opposite of what it suggests.
        So in this post facts world it is basically up to anyone to form a baseless opinion and type it.

        1. Oh now I know what you’re referring to miffy: the dear old MegaMaps tool, which doesn’t meet international guidelines.

        2. So instead AT rely on asking ‘stakeholders’ which is like saying that “100% of groups that advocate lowering the speed limit support lowering the speed limit.” That is as good as the one yesterday that said closing a road to traffic resulted in a 100% reduction in traffic.

        3. “the dear old MegaMaps tool, which doesn’t meet international guidelines”

          What’s wrong with the MegaMaps tool? And what international guidelines does it not meet?

        4. Is this the NZTA guidelines that result in 400 fatalities a year? I’d ignore those too. I assume they are right up there with the NZTA warrant check guidelines?

      4. Heidi, your argument about not participating below, equally applies to the status quo – don’t like the risk that comes with flying, don’t fly.

        It’s not about fetishising speed, it’s about balance – safety isn’t the only consideration in driving. Millions of people currently drive even though there is risk of accident. They accept that risk and choose to participate. Society should decide where that balance should fall, instead of being dictated to by experts. Experts provide the information, but society should make the decision.

        1. @Jim I guess you’re mainly alluding to the economic and/or time saving wider benefits that being able to drive faster may bring? The thing is a seriously injured or dead person brings a lot of economic and time wasting issues into the equation which are probably not fully costed or even for that matter comprehended by most people.

        2. This is basic democracy, Jim. Democracy doesn’t include micromanaging every aspect of society with referenda. We appoint experts. We do so because the public cannot be expected to understand the details from every point of view on every issue.

          Right now people are resisting change, they’re not resisting the reality of what safer speeds would bring. If they could visualise what a safer network was like, there wouldn’t be this level of resistance.

          Frankly, I find it abhorrent that people would argue against driving at speeds that will keep more people alive. It’s very dangerous to be a cyclist or a pedestrian in Auckland. That’s not ok. To resist change is saying that these people’s lives are not worth caring about. That’s actually hate talk, and there’s a point when we need to stand up and say it is unacceptable.

        3. @Jim. You are right, the choice to participate does also apply to the status quo.

          As such, I have chosen not to drive, I have chosen not to own a car, I have chosen to live in the city centre, and I have chosen to walk/take public transport when I want to travel . Where I have no choice, however, is on the dangerous and unsafe actions of other people who have chosen to drive.

          And so I through no choice of my own, I am forced to take a risk every time I walk outside and interact in environments where cars are allowed to. Those people have imposed their choice of risk onto me and there is nothing I can do. This is clearly an undemocratic situation. Unless, of course, I never go anywhere where I am putting my life in the hands of car drivers, which we all know is an impossibility in today’s car-centric system.

          Society in a democracy is required to respect the lives and rights of ALL people, not just a subset of the population who choose to drive cars and accept the associated risks. We in this country (alongside many others around the world) have chosen to follow the considerate and compassionate approach of Vision Zero, where our own safety is the overriding priority. Therefore, rethinking our situation to meet this approach has to be the most democratic approach for us to take.

          Otherwise we implicitly acknowledge that the death or injury (serious or otherwise) of ourselves is of less value than minor time saving or economic considerations.

        4. ‘That’s actually hate talk,’

          This is why you can’t be taken seriously Heidi. So much ridiculous nonsense.

        5. Tony. What’s nonsense? If you’re going come on board with a one lined criticism, at least explain yourself.

        6. Tim S.

          Like Whenuapai and Hobsonville around the RNZAF base where noise is offensive to those who moved there in the last few years in their creepy contract communities, no one made you live in there, no one made you go carless, although I absolutely respect that decision, and no one makes you catch a bus. I do not live there for many reasons the least of which is its not for me. But if I chose to live in a zone that was industrial, like either, I would have to deal with it, not complain.

          I’m guessing you live around Hobson or Nelson St’s but both are either at the end of SH16/SH1 80 km/hr lanes or the beginning. They are the major roads in and out of the CBD. And I would truly hate to live on either for many reasons but the fact is these roads were there long before this became trendy apartment territory.

        7. Waspy, Nelson/ Hobson street will continue to perform as major connections, and probably insignificant degradation of capacity, between the CBD and the motorway network, if the posted speed is reduced from 50kph to 30kph. What has fundamentally changed though is that an area that was until recently sparsely populated is now the most densely populated area in the entire country. Surely the regulatory environment can adapt?

  2. Does AT ask the government for school zones to be 30kmh, presently the law only allows it to be 40 kmh and then often for a limited time. Hamilton has asked the government to change the law to allow 30 kmh school zones, anyone know if AT also supports 30 kmh school zones.
    FYI below is link to the Hamilton Speed Management Plan, page 8 shows where we are, page 11 shows councils plan.

  3. If this is about safety and is evidence based, what was the consultation for and what is the justification for delay? How many people have been injured or killed since this plan was made public? It seems like that was a long time ago.

    1. Consultation is required by law. Then by the time they finished reviewing the feedback, AT got cold feet about making a decision before an election

      1. They were only having to make a decision before an election because they got cold feet about doing the consultation last year.

        One predatory delay after the next.

        1. Does the 8 month wait for implementation after bylaw confirmation actually come with an infrastructure programme timetable or is it just because lol

  4. I’m not sure how do you arrive at a conclusion that following a sound safety advice contravenes the democratic process?

    1. Because some people are scared of their own shadow that same logic somehow dictates what they think is safe must be correct and everyone else has to live in that hide under the bed world. That should not be the decider.

      This has always been the issue here and worse some people are anti cars and will push any barrow and manipulate any situation to get what they want and using lower speeds is just one way of doing it.

      1. Come on now! Getting hit by a car at 50 vs 30 in the most densely populated areas of NZ isn’t the same as being scared of a shadow. You are being disingenuous here and you know it..

        1. Come on Joe, getting hit by a car at 30 rather than 10 is just another safety compromise.

          Where does it end?

        2. Risk of death being hit at 50km/h is 80%.
          Risk of death being hit at 30km/h is 10%.
          Risk of death being hit at 10km/h is 7%.

          So yeah, 30km/h seems a good place to end the safety compromise.

        3. Depends what stats one wants to quote.

          30% of severe injuries occur in speed environments below 35 km/hr. To quote the study this indicates that 30 km/hr speed limits might not be as safe as previously believed. And there are so many factors namely the type of vehicle involved and its SUV’s, light commercials (flat nose), age of the person struck, their height, their health and obviously things with bullbars that are all aggravating factor.

          Fair enough in environments where risk is higher (Symond Street in the university area for example) but AT’s blanket 30 in main arterials that have low incident rates is what the problem is here.

        4. Environments where risk is higher? How would you describe Nelson and Hobson Street? They maybe have less students but there are a lot of apartments there.

          And Fanshawe Street, perhaps the part west of Nelson Street still goes kind of through a wasteland for now, but the building cranes almost reached it by now.

          Otherwise, what arterials are we talking about here?

          And hey, it is only a small area with a very convenient motorway ring around it.

        5. Replying to Waspman,

          Having a consistent speed limit in an area does have one advantage – there’s no ambiguity to anyone entering the area what the speed limit is. No guessing, trying to remember etc. Also remove any excuses (I didn’t realise it’s 30km/h not 40km/h, didn’t see it, etc).

        6. Of interest, based on 10 years of NZ crash data you get the following DSI probabilities for crashes with vulnerable road uses.
          10km/h = 29%
          20km/h = 19%
          30km/h = 24%
          40km/h = 19%
          50km/h = 20%
          60km/h = 29%
          70km/h = 32%
          80km/h = 39%
          90km/h = 67%
          100km/h = 47%

        7. Richard, as a transport professional it is disingenuous to isolate just the probability factor when both probability and consequence need to be considered. Arguably it is the consequence that should be the prime consideration.

        8. I agree Don. This is why it’s disingenuous to claim that simply changing the posted speed will make you go from an 80% chance or death to a 5% chance.

          What the numbers I have shown highlight is that there is much more going on. Alas the truth in this debate has been kept hidden.

        9. How was that counted? Think about it — Imagine a crash involving a ‘vulnerable road user’ vs. a car going at 100km/h? (or even a motorbike for that matter)

          I would have thought that would be fatal almost every single time.

      2. We know what we have is not safe, and we know it doesn’t follow international guidelines. We know that the international guidelines are based on the best evidence available, and we know that this is what AT have used in setting the proposed speed limits. We can modify this as the science evolves.

        Resisting best practice advice is the same as deciding that some people aren’t worthy of care. Children need safer speeds for independent mobility and basic safety.

      3. surely you acknowledge that 59kmh (which is effectively the current speed limit) is not safe in a very built up city centre don’t you? Do we really need experts and surveys and consultation?

  5. Why isn’t High St 10kph on the plan too? Even now no vehicle gets up to that, and soon will be a shared space, or will that be consulted on all over again…?

  6. Auckland Transport needs to be bold and fulfill their obligation to public safety by approving these speed limit reductions.

    There will always be public oppositions to the status quo, however the reasoning is not so much for evidence based reasons but more for selfish reasons. Public safety should always come first before peoples desire to go fast.

  7. I maintain the 10km/h limit is too low to be observed meaningfully, and that these areas should just have been closed to general traffic.

  8. What appears to be lacking in the analysis of speed versus safety is credible information information on both the time penalties, and as a derivative, the economic costs, and the change in accident frequency, and severity, and as a derivative, the cost savings. Surely such base data must exist as speed limits are adjusted all the time.
    Has anybody done any analysis of both the results of the speed limit reductions on Ponsonby Road and Queen Street? Worldwide I would have thought that traffic engineers, public health practitioners, and economists would surely be producing this data all the time and it’s applicability almost universal.
    Hopefully data from before and after these changes are implimented, is fully analysed to provide the most compelling argument for extending the rollout.
    Masters or PHD thesis material anyone?
    Additional data, on emission levels, including noise, needs to be captured now, before implementation so meaningful analysis of before and after can be made.
    This is so the project can progress from what just seems like a good idea, to a meaningful post implementation documented cost benifit analysis.
    As an aside, the multilane oneway avenues in Manhatten with their synchronised traffic lights, (remarkably similar to Nelson and Hobson Streets) are subject to the city wide speed restriction of 25mph, about 40kph, and I suspect by the number of police visible in New York, effective enforcement.

    1. I sort of get where you’re coming from Don, but how many minutes of time savings are an acceptable trade-off for your child getting killed in an accident?

      Or are we asking the wrong question here….

      1. I think if we had better data, it may well show that the time penalties are much smaller then many people realise, thus any economic cost much lower, what is the cost of a minute here and there on a commute to work? Perhaps only about the same as that time to drink a cup of coffee.
        The costs, social, and economic of personal injury, and death are horrific, as well as the economic costs in repairing and replacing broken vehicles, and roadside assets.
        Some real data would be really helpful in presenting to our society the inevitable trade offs. These trade offs will continue as reducing motor vehicle speed to zero, whilst it might result in zero fatalities, is simply not viable in a functional city a balance must be sought, and I am currently of the view that vehicle speeds are significantly too high. I would just like better data to base any view I have formed.

      2. Yes it seems particularly mad to weight the first minute of delay very much at all – presumably it’s seen as just normal variation.

      3. You are asking the wrong question. The question is how many hours of delay are equivalent to a statistical death ie someone you don’t know.
        The answer is 200,289 hours based on a value per death of $4,876,000 or 4.6mill in 2015 updated to 2018 and a value of time to all users on an urban other road or $24.35 per hour or $16.23 in 2002 updated to 2018.
        Tables A4.3 and A5-305.

    2. Yes there have been many analyses of the effect of reducing speeds on Queen Street, all of which have been discussed on this blog on numerous occasions.

    1. 1st world Countries are implementing Zero Vision. Nobody is saying here that SH1 or 16 which is our only road nearly comparable to European and American highways is going to be 80kmh across the board. What people are saying is that dangerous roads and inner city roads are to have safer speeds. Maybe get of Newstalk and read what’s proposed rather than ‘putting your money on’

        1. Seriously, SH16 120kmh. It only has median separation east of Brigham Creek Road, most of which is in an urban area. Very few motorways have speed limits greater than 100kmh in urban areas.

          There is certainly an argument for it on sections of SH1 such as the Waikato Expressway, which I assume will end up with a 110kmh speed limit as some point.

        2. ‘And big wide main arterial routes with few houses 60 or 70kmh+’.

          I assume you mean roads like Te Irirangi Drive with its 80kmh speed limit or Te Rakau Drive with its 60kmh speed limit. You appear to be describing something that is already the case.

    2. I think there is a misconception about the comparable state of NZ roads compared to “first world countries”.
      Sure the densely populated areas, and benign terrain areas of many countries have some lovely roads. But those same countries also have challenging roads in the areas of lower population density and through challenging terrain, comparable to much of the terrain and population density of New Zealand. Many European , including Britiain, two lane highways are just that, with no safety shoulders. Turning traffic or breakdowns just obstruct following traffic. Internationally numbered highways in France may well have 30kph speed limits and pedestrian crossings every 100 metres when they pass through rural villages. Rural Australian highways are very comparable to NZ roads in similar terrain except they are much more aggressive in setting lower speed limits for the more hazardous sections. And they are much more aggressive in speed enforcement.

  9. Two things.
    Richard and Richard Lauren are the same, like Miffy and Mfwc?
    But secondly and more importantly the floor is yours to elaborate.
    What is your view on “the truth” preferably with references to reputable gospels.
    My position is I am agnostic but vulnerable to logic combined with data backed argument.

  10. Reducing the speed limit instead of maintaining our roads is like bandaging an infected wound before cleaning it.

    We NEED to ensure all Drivers are competent before driving on our Public Roads

    And we need to ensure our road surface is maintained for safety of all Road Users.


    Please help me oppose reduced speed limits!!

    Let’s focus on safer drivers and better roads!

      1. Wow – $400. That’s what I got fined for inadvertently bringing 4 plums that I purchased in Woolworths, Brisbane into New Zealand, forgetting that I still had them buried somewhere in my bag. Safety risk – nil. Biosecurity risk – nil.
        I would have to be driving at 36Km/h over the limit to get this level of fine for speeding in NZ. Safety risk – likely to be immense!

        1. The Biosecurity risk is not nil.

          If you’re real point is that speeding fines are too low then I agree with you.

        2. I am no expert but I would suspect the bio-security risk of plums from Woolworths Brisbane is no greater than plums from Countdown Wellington. Of course the checking agents at Wellington have no proof of where they are from and so have to assume the worst – treat them as though they are from some infected jungle somewhere – but from my perspective they were as safe as our very own. After all, I intended to eat the little b*ggers (but forgot).
          And yes, speeding penalties are too low, in relation to the much greater risks as compared to 4 innocuous plums.

        3. Dave, perhaps I need to write a post about the changes that have occurred in Auckland urban farming since various pests have entered the country. What the first three that come to mind: the fruit driller, the potato psyllid and the varroa mite together have achieved is nothing less than devastating.

          The fruit driller attacks many fruit, including plums, and it came from Australia.

          All of them unnecessary imports through stupid trade agreements and sloppy approaches to biosecurity.

          I think a lot of people think that if the global economic shit hits the fan, they’ll be able to return to a home gardening existence like their grandparents could’ve managed. What they’re not prepared for is the complete change in cultural practice now required to cope with all the introduced pests and weeds.

        4. Dave – the big difference is Queensland has fruit-fly and we don’t so a domestically purchased plum in Brisbane is much higher risk than one purchased in Wellington.

          As Heidi mentioned there are other pests as well.

      2. Bigger fines make no difference unless you think like Judith Collins and other middle age middle class thinkers. She thought the solution to failing to stop for police was to increase penalties such as having your car impounded. Funnily enough it’s often not the persons car and in any case the problem has only got worse.

        The issue with cell phone use is its difficult to prove and there are too few cops around to do a thing about it. So your chances of getting caught are almost nil. No real deterrent equals widespread cell phone use.

    1. Ah, the “perfect roads and drivers” fallacy… By all means, work on upgrading roads and trying to improve drivers through education/enforcement. But don’t kid yourself that will solve the problem. We have 90,000km of roads in NZ and I’d wager that 90% would struggle to justify any major investment in upgrading them. We’re also all human, i.e. we ALL make mistakes and bad decisions at some point. I don’t want to die just because I (or the other driver) made a silly little error. And sorry, but mainstream self-driving cars are decades away (I wouldn’t even guarantee that they will be perfect…).

      That’s where speed management affects the CONSEQUENCES of those remaining bad decisions. You might still have a crash, but the chances of dying or being seriously injured will be much less if people are travelling a bit slower (it often doesn’t have to be much slower either) – that’s just basic physics…

  11. I always laugh when this blog which happy trots out selected stats to push its arguments keeps repeating the one about average speed being 30kph now to try and say there will be no real change. The clue is in the word average. But what is the average maximum speed or even average freeflow speed. You will get a very different answer.

    1. The ironical thing is that universally dropping the urban speed limit to 30kph will massively reduce congestion, if you give credence to the Tom Tom methodology. Tom Tom measures “congestion” by the change in journey time from the free flow, 3am? to congested state, 8am weekday?
      It follows therefore connsiderably slowing the 3am journey, by a lower speed limit, will reduce this differential, and therefore improve congestion, according to Tom Tom.

  12. Tongue-in-cheek to those who oppose lower speed-limits:
    If only all the over-the-top safety-requirements and restrictive speed-limits could be removed from the railways, just think how much cheaper the infrastructure would be, and how much faster the trains could go. Every city could afford its own CRL and intercity trains could travel at 160Km/h. True, there may be the odd nasty rail-accident, but chances are the system would still be safer than going by road.
    Perhaps we should hold a public referendum on the subject (Tongue still in cheek :0)

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