Speed limit changes confirmed for Kāpiti

4 Sep 2023, 12:48 PM

The speed limit around all Kāpiti Coast schools will drop to 30km/h following the adoption of the Kāpiti Coast District Council Speed Management Plan last week (Thursday 31 August).

Government rules introduced last year require road controlling authorities to develop and consult on Speed Management Plans to achieve safe and appropriate speeds on our roads.

Kāpiti Mayor Janet Holborow says as the district gets busier keeping everyone on and around our roads safe is crucial.

“We’ve now got a clear plan for making some of our busiest areas safer for everyone,” Mayor Holborow says.

“Safer vehicle speeds around schools and in our centres will reduce the risk of serious harm should there be an accident. This is a great result especially for our most vulnerable people.”   

Group Manager Infrastructure Services Sean Mallon says the final plan was significantly amended following community consultation.

“There are some non-negotiables that we are required by legislation to do, including lowering the limits in priority areas including around schools, and there was strong community support among the 400 submissions received for this,” Mr Mallon says.

“The areas immediately around all schools will be transitioning to either permanent or variable 30km/h limits from next year, with 2027 the cutoff for when this must be complete.

“This means we’ll see new signage and in some areas traffic calming infrastructure installed.”

Mr Mallon says limits will be reduced to 30km/h in parts of Raumati South, Raumati Beach, Waikanae beach, Waikanae town centre, Ōtaki town centre and at Te Horo Beach. Speed limits will also be lowered on part of Valley Rd, Riverbank Rd and Peka Peka Rd to either 50 or 60km/h.

The approved proposals account for less than 7 percent of the Kāpiti Coast’s roading network.

Feedback was also sought on four longer-term options for achieving safe and appropriate speeds on Kāpiti roads.

“The community showed a strong preference for keeping speed limits largely as they are outside of the high-benefit areas,” Mr Mallon says.

“The two favoured options involve either installing pedestrian refuges and traffic calming infrastructure on some of our major urban connectors, or expanding the buffers around schools to approximately 1km for primary and 2km for secondary schools.

“We’ll be working with the community on developing concepts for these options and will begin that process in 2025.

“What we can say is there is currently no intention to lower speeds to 30km/h districtwide.”

During consultation there was a strong submission made to extend a 30km/h limit to a 1km radius of Paekākāriki School.

The submission was prepared by the Paekākāriki Community Board and endorsed by Paekākāriki School, Paekākāriki Playcentre, Paekākāriki Scouts, Kapiti Cycling Action and 82 individuals.

As this was not in the original consultation Council will now test making the whole of Paekākāriki 30km/h with the local community and stakeholders before finalising plans. A short consultation on this is open until 15 September.