13 Aug 2020

Christchurch City Council is going ahead with a proposal to lower the speed limit on a busy stretch of Riccarton Road.

The new 30km/h speed limit will apply to the central section of Riccarton Road, between Matipo Street and Straven Road.

“Reducing the speed limit on this section of Riccarton Road from 50km/h to 30km/h will improve safety for all road users,’’ says Acting Mayor Andrew Turner.

At the start of this year the Council asked the community for their views on whether the speed limit should be lowered. It received written feedback from 119 organisations and individuals.

About two-thirds of the submitters supported lowering the speed limit, with most citing improved safety as the main reason for backing the move.

The Police, Blind and Low Vision New Zealand, and the Disabled Persons Assembly were among the organisations to express their support for a lower speed limit.

“This section of Riccarton Road has a high level of pedestrian activity because it is an important hub for public transport. It also has a large number of shops and other businesses that draw people into the area.

“At almost all times of the day you will find drivers on this stretch of the road looking for parking spaces or drop-off opportunities, pedestrians trying to cross the road, and cyclists manoeuvring alongside buses and other passing traffic.

“In order to improve safety we need a 30km/h speed limit on this stretch of road. Speed determines both the likelihood of a crash occurring, and the severity of the outcome. If the speed limit is higher than 30km/h, it is much more likely that somebody will be seriously injured or even killed in a crash and nobody wants to see that happen,’’ Acting Mayor Turner says. 

In addition to lowering the speed limit on the central part of Riccarton Road, the Council has also decided to introduce a 30km/h speed limit on the side streets between Riccarton Road and Riccarton Bush. 

This is in response to concerns raised by local residents about drivers who often use those streets to make short-cuts at speed.