A week’s grace to ease in slower speed limit

ON THE GO SLOW: Sergeant Steve Fagan keeps an eye on Ponsonby Rd drivers.
ON THE GO SLOW: Sergeant Steve Fagan keeps an eye on Ponsonby Rd drivers.

Drivers on Ponsonby Rd are being spared speeding fines this week, as the new 40kmh speed limit comes into effect.

Sergeant Steven Fagan and the central western strategic traffic unit have been making one-hour patrols along the road since Monday, stopping speeders "well in excess" of the new limit and alerting them to the change.

Mr Fagan says people doing around 60kmh will not be receiving fines this week, but as of next Monday the new limit will be enforced.

New 40kmh signs as well as large, white markings on the road surface alert drivers to the change.

Mr Fagan says it could take up to six months for the slower speed to really become consistent.

He hopes the new, slower limit will act as a safeguard for pedestrians, highlighting late-night party-goers along the road as a particular concern.

Campaigning for a reduced limit along the road has been an ongoing issue for many years, fuelled by concerns at the number of pedestrian injuries and two deaths.

There were 13 pedestrian crashes on the road between 2004 and 2008, including a woman who was killed in 2005.

A man was critically injured earlier this year after being hit by a bus.

A petition of more than 600 signatures was presented to Auckland mayor John Banks in May.

Auckland city councillor Greg Moyle says lowering the speed is an affordable way of providing more safety for pedestrians.

Western Bays Community Board chairman Bruce Kilmister says the board has supported the change for a long time and is pleased it has finally been implemented.

"We hope that it will have the impact we are looking for with a reduction in pedestrian accidents," he says.

Auckland City Harbour News