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Council votes to lower speed limit to 30km/h in Paekākāriki

30 Oct 2023, 12:40 PM

Kāpiti Coast District Council voted at its 26 October meeting to lower the speed limit across the whole of Paekākāriki to 30km/h as part of the district’s first Speed Management Plan. 

Kāpiti Mayor Janet Holborow says after a second round of consultation with the community councillors voted in favour of a “bold” approach for the village. 

“The process of developing a Speed Management Plan for Kāpiti has been a long road, and we’re happy we now have a finalised plan to guide our speed management activity in the coming years,” Mayor Holborow says. 

“By the end of 2027 there will be 30km/h speed limits implemented around all Kāpiti schools and in some other high-priority areas, so we’ll see new signage and in some areas traffic calming infrastructure installed. 

“The difference for Paekakariki is that instead of a 30km/h limit around the school zone the whole village will be going to 30km/h.” 

The decision follows additional speed management engagement in Paekākāriki which tested two options: 

  • Option 1: A 30km/h speed limit on all Paekākāriki roads including Ames Street, plus traffic calming infrastructure on The Parade.
  • Option 2: A variable (immediately before and after school) 30km/h speed limit on roads within 100m of Paekākāriki School.

 Both options included traffic calming infrastructure on Wellington Rd near Paekākāriki School. 

Council received over 300 responses – 55 percent preferred option one, and 45 percent preferred option two. 

The second feedback process was sparked by a submission from the Paekākāriki Community Board to extend a 30km/h limit to a 1km radius of Paekākāriki School. This was endorsed by Paekākāriki School, Paekākāriki Playcentre, Paekākāriki Scouts, Kāpiti Cycling Action and 82 individuals.

“We’ll always have people who prefer the status quo but when more than half of the people who responded want change that’s quite significant,” Mayor Holborow says.

“The arguments in favour of reducing speed village-wide were compelling, and Paekākāriki is the kind of place where bold things can happen.” 

Paekākāriki ward Councillor Sophie Handford also supported the move. 

“This has been well-tested with the community and honours the safety and wellbeing of the people most exposed to the risks of higher speeds, and will do what our tamariki need,” Cr Handford says. 

Group Manager Infrastructure Services Sean Mallon says staff had recommended a more staged approach, including trialling more traffic calming infrastructure on Wellington Rd and The Parade. 

“We’ll now finalise the Speed Management Plan and start planning for the change,” Mr Mallon says. 

“We’ve got a lot of work to do over the whole district to bring the plan to life and will be working through this in the coming months. 

“We’ll keep the Paekākāriki community up to date when we have confirmed a detailed implementation programme. Work on this is underway.” 

Visit kapiticoast.govt.nz/speed for more on the Speed Management Plan.