20kmh speed limit for Golden Mile?

23:51, Oct 24 2012
George Chooka manners
ROUGH ROAD: Since 2007, 54 serious injury accidents and three fatal pedestrian accidents have happened along the Golden Mile.

The speed limit along the Golden Mile may drop to 20kmh in response to pedestrian injuries and fatalities along the route.

The Greater Wellington regional council this morning voted to support a Wellington City Council proposal to drop the speed limit from 30km to 20km from Panama St to Taranaki St.

In a submission to the city council, Greater Wellington public transport general manager Dr Wayne Hastie said ''observational information'' suggested most busses along the route were already unable to exceed 30kmh due to congestion and traffic lights.

There are four stops and seven signalled junctions along the 1.2km stretch in question.

Dr Hastie said only 15 percent of buses travelling south along the route and 20 per cent of buses travelling north exceeded an average speed of 20kmh.

For those services, the impact of a 10kmh speed limit reduction would be delays of 41 and 44 seconds respectively, he said.

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In free-flowing conditions, the largest increase in travel time a bus might have to endure would be 1 minute, 12 seconds.

''This is not considered to represent a significant reduction in the level of service for bus passengers...on the balance, it is considered to be reasonable given the pedestrian safety concerns in the corridor,'' he said.

''The proposed reduction in speed from 30kmh to 20kmh has the potential to reduce the stopping distances of busses by half.''

Dr Hastie said that during a speed radar test earlier this month, a small number of busses were recorded at speeds over 30kmh.

Since 2007, 54 serious injury accidents and three fatal pedestrian accidents have happened along the Golden Mile.

At least 13 people have been hit - including jogger Venessa Green, who was killed last year, and NZ Bus director Tim Brown, who suffered multiple broken bones and a punctured lung in July.

The public have until tomorrow to have their say on the change. The reduced speed limit would come into effect in December.

Contact Michael Forbes
Transport and metro reporter
Email: michael.forbes@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @michael_forbes

The Dominion Post