H&P Times Column - Restore the previous speed limits

Following Auckland Transport’s (AT) decision earlier this year to lower the speed limits on major roads in east Auckland, I have launched a petition in response to community opposition to these changes calling for the previous limits to be restored.

As arterial roads in our area, Pakuranga Road, Ti Rakau Drive, and Te Irirangi Drive carry tens of thousands of vehicles a day.

These recent speed limit reductions have only increased travel times for local commuters without providing any kind of benefit in return.

When AT first proposed these changes, they claimed the reduction in speed was being made in the name of safety, but they have been unable to identify an actual safety problem related to speed on these roads.

Statistics show that major accidents resulting in serious injury are rare on each of these roads, numbering only a few, on average, each year, no different to any other road in Auckland.

It is yet another case of AT trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist to appear like they are doing something meaningful.

But what Kiwis want are better roads not slower roads, and where there is no evidence of a safety issue, like on these east Auckland roads, we should be looking at ways to increase traffic flow and reduce congestion, not the opposite.

AT are preparing another round of speed limit reductions in Auckland despite no statistical evidence that they are necessary or indeed that previous reductions have had any positive impact.

With Auckland’s economy already thought to be losing over $1 billion in lost productivity each year due to congestion, we literally cannot afford to slow our city down even further.

Now is the time to invest in solutions that get our city moving, including new and resilient infrastructure, improved transport network connections and greater access to reliable public transport options.

Sadly, AT seems incapable of forward-thinking and consistently falls back on simple measures like speed limit reductions that, in most cases, are nothing but busy work.

If you agree that our speed limits should be restored to their previous levels, namely 60km/h on Pakuranga Road and Ti Rakau Drive, and 80km/h on Te Irirangi Drive, please sign the petition.

You can do so by visiting my website at www.simeonbrown.national.org.nz/60kmpetition.