Have your say on our proposal for safer speeds in Palmerston North

Published on 02 October 2023

Three lanes of cars heading into the city from Massey.

We’re seeking feedback on our proposal to change speed limits in some parts of the city, so we can all get to where we want to go safely.

Chief planning officer David Murphy says Waka Kotahi – New Zealand Transport Agency requires each council to produce a speed management plan every three years. Our city’s plan is required to be in place by 30 June 2024, as per the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022, with any proposed speed limit changes coming into effect over the next three years.

Mr Murphy says the community can learn more about the details of the proposal and provide their feedback by visiting our consultation webpage: www.pncc.govt.nz/saferspeeds2024.

The key proposed changes include:

  1. City centre speed limit reduction
    We're proposing to lower the speed limit to 30km/h in the heart of our city, encompassing all streets within the inner ring road, Broadway Ave down to Ruahine Street and the streets around The Square.
    Our city centre is a busy place – it's a destination for both residents and visitors. The speeds most of the time are already low on most of these streets, so the changes we are proposing aren’t a major change but help to reduce the severity of any accidents involving pedestrians, particularly our tamariki. In areas where speeds are higher, like Broadway Ave between Princess and Ruahine, we’ll monitor compliance to any new limits to determine if we need to install infrastructure to slow vehicles, such as speed humps or raised platforms.

  2. High-risk roads
    We are proposing speed limit reductions in some areas where there have been lots of crashes due to unsafe speeds, including Milson Line, Summerhill Drive, Kahuterawa Road, and Turitea Road. These roads have experienced a high number of accidents, indicating the need for lower speed limits that better match their surrounding environment.

  3. Intersection speed zones
    To improve safety at some intersections, we plan to introduce intersection speed zones at Valley Views/Turitea Road and No 1 Line/Rongotea Road. These intersections will have electronic signs to lower the speed limit on the main roads when traffic from the side roads is approaching.

  4. Speed limit changes for existing 70km/h roads

We are required by Waka Kotahi to review all roads in our city with a 70km/h speed limit to ensure they are appropriate for their surroundings. As part of this, we’re also proposing changes to reduce speed limits on Kelvin Grove Road, Te Wanaka Road, and Gillespies Line.

Have your say by 4pm on Tuesday 31 October

We are holding drop-in sessions at Palmerston North Library and the Conference and Function Centre so you can ask our team any questions about the proposed changes. A list of these is on our consultation webpage.

Submissions can also be made online or in writing.

Council’s Elected Members will make a final decision on which speed limits are implemented after hearing our community’s feedback. Following this, our plan is sent to Waka Kotahi – NZ Transport Agency for certification. We expect to have our plan in place by June 2024.

This is the second part of our speed limits review. We consulted on the first part, which proposed changes to speed limits around schools, earlier in the year. The Council will be considering its final decision about school speed limits soon.

Read more about the Government’s Road to Zero plan

The Government has a plan to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 40 per cent by 2030. To achieve this goal, they propose safer speeds are needed.

The Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022 came into effect on 19 May 2022. It introduces a new way of implementing speed management throughout New Zealand and makes the setting of speed limits more efficient for Councils, because it encourages a network-wide approach to setting speed limits.

For more information, or to make a submission, visit pncc.govt.nz/saferspeeds2024.