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Council to consider feedback on the Draft West Coast Regional Speed Management Plan

24 May 2024

Councillors will consider feedback from the 141 submissions received during the recent consultation on the Draft West Coast Regional Speed Management Plan (the Plan) at next week’s meeting. 

The Plan was open for feedback between Thursday, 14 March and Tuesday, 16 April 2024. 

Manager Infrastructure Delivery Eric de Boer says: “This feedback, given by people who use these roads every day, is super valuable and is a tremendous help for the staff and elected members who review and refine the proposed speed limits.” 

130 submitters took the opportunity to comment on the Plan, providing location specific feedback on the proposed speed limits.  

Mr de Boer says: “Staff analysed and summarised this detailed feedback, which enables us to refine the proposed speed limits from a user perspective. As a result, staff suggested some changes to the proposed speed limits in some locations, kept the proposed speed limits in other locations, and scoped out alternatives to manage speed around schools.”  

Of the 130 submissions relating to the Plan: 

  • 46.15% were in support of the Plan.  
  • 18.46% were in support of some parts of the Plan but opposed to other parts.  
  • 13.85% were in support and wanted additional roads to be included in the Plan. These were generally limited to locations such as residential areas where the current speed limit is 100 km/h. 
  • 9.23% were fully opposed to the Plan.  
  • 5.38% were in support of some parts, opposed to other parts and wanted additions to the Plan.  
  • 3.08% were opposed to the Plan but wanted additions. 
  • 3.85% provided a response that did not relate to the SMP. 

Mr de Boer says: “One of the key proposals made in the Plan was to permanently lower the speed limit to 30 km/h around schools to enhance safety and encourage more children and parents to walk or bike to school. Most people were in favour of 30 kilometres per hour (km/h) around schools but only wanted this speed to be used when dropping off and picking up school children.” 

Submitters also requested other changes, for example to turn two-way roads into one-way roads, change speeds on State Highways, increase parking spaces, add footpaths, speed cameras, zebra crossings or widen roads.  

Mr de Boer says: “These suggestions, while outside the scope of the Plan, provide valuable information for Council to consider when looking at improving our local roads in the future.” 

At the council meeting next week, Councillors will discuss recommendations that include.  

  • an overview of each road or area. 
  • the original proposed speed limit. 
  • the suggested speed limit based on a consideration of the community feedback. 
  • the number of submissions received for this location. 
  • an explanation for the new recommended speed limit. 

Council will discuss these at the meeting and formulate a recommendation for the Regional Transport Committee (RTC) to incorporate into the final Speed Management Plan. 

The RTC will come together in early July and review recommendations from all district councils to put forward a final Speed Management Plan to the Director of Land Transport.  

Once the final Speed Management Plan has been certified it will come into force once a land transport record is created in the National Speed Register (NSR). The speed limits around schools are anticipated to be included in the NSR by August 2024. The target date for high-priority roads to be added to the NSR is December 2024. 

Council aims to commence preparing for changing the speed limits on local roads outside schools from June 2024 onwards. The proposed speed changes for high-priority roads and areas in Buller are aimed to be implemented by the end of June 2025.  

You can find the full report (page 57) with a detailed breakdown of the recommendations on Council’s website. 

The full requirements for the Land Transport Rule Setting of Speed Limits 2022 (as of 15 December 2023) is available on the NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi website. 

Notes to the reader:

The Draft West Coast Regional Speed Management Plan is a comprehensive document setting out the ten-year vision for speed management on the West Coast and outlines the first three years of implementing the proposed changes around schools and high-risk, high-benefit local roads and areas. 

In Buller, the plan proposes to lower the speed limit around eight schools, and seven high priority roads/high priority areas.  

The West Coast Regional Council, in partnership with the Buller, Grey, and Westland District Councils, has developed the Plan to create a safer road network on the West Coast. 

The Plan excludes State Highways, which are covered by NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi's interim Draft Speed Management Plan 2023. 

The Regional Transport Committee is chaired by the West Coast Regional Council and includes representatives from the different district councils and other lead agencies. It includes two representatives from the WCRC, one representative from each local council on the West Coast, one representative from NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi, and one representative from the Department of Conservation. 


For further information please contact: 
Eric de Boer 
Manager Infrastructure Delivery