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Draft West Coast Regional Speed Management Plan

The West Coast community could give feedback on the Draft West Coast Regional Speed Management Plan.

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.

Council invited the Buller community to share their views on the proposed changes between March 14 and April 16, 2024 to help inform the final Speed Management Plan.

What were the changes proposed for Buller?

In Buller, the plan proposes lowering the speed limit around eight schools and seven high-priority roads/areas. You can view the location maps showing the proposed new speed limits for the local roads.

For the schools, the plan proposes permanently lowering the speed limit to 30km/h to enhance safety and encourage more children and parents to walk or bike to school.

To create a safer environment for all road users, the speed limit in the selected high-priority roads and areas would be lowered to the proposed speed limits as shown on the location maps.

Frequently asked questions

Read our FAQs to find out more about the Draft West Coast Regional Speed Management Plan.

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. 

Over the first three years between 2024 and 2026, the plan will focus on changing the speed limits around schools, and in high-risk, high-benefit local roads and areas (e.g. places with a high concentration of people like town centres), and other areas the community identifies as important. 

To determine the appropriate speed limits in these areas, staff from all four councils have reviewed the speed limits, considering the national guidelines for safe and appropriate speeds, with input from the local community, and insights from key local stakeholders. 

Improving safety on local roads is a key priority for the West Coast councils, and we want all road users to get where they are going safely regardless of how they travel. We need to reduce the number of serious injuries and deaths on our transport network with the target of a 40% reduction by 2023 as part of New Zealand's ‘Road to Zero’ road safety strategy.  

We are changing speed limits to enhance road safety and align with Waka Kotahi’s Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022, which requires all road controlling authorities in New Zealand to review speeds on their local roads. 

There were seven fatal crashes and 46 serious injuries in the Westland, Buller, and Grey Districts between 2018 and 2022. The seven fatal crashes alone resulted in a social cost of around $35 million. This highlights the financial impact of these incidents and the need for effective measures to improve road safety and keep our community safe.  

The speed limit on our State Highways is set and managed by Waka Kotahi – New Zealand Transport Agency. Waka Kotahi consulted on its draft Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan which includes speed limits around schools and high benefit areas on State Highways. Changes on State Highways are detailed in that plan rather than Council’s Speed Management Plans. We’re working with Waka Kotahi to align new, safer speed limits for local roads and highways to provide consistency for the community.  

The draft Speed Management Plan propose to introduce safe speeds: 

  • In town centres with a high number of visitors, shoppers, and active road users  
  • In areas that were requested by the community.    
  • In local roads located outside schools in the region. 

For more information about changes proposed for Buller, check out our map. 

If the draft plan is approved, the Buller District Council aims to change the speed on local roads outside schools by end of June 2024. The proposed speed changes for high-priority roads and areas in Buller will be implemented by end of June 2026.

Speed determines whether anyone is killed, injured, or walks away unharmed from a crash, but there are also wider benefits for our community that align with Council’s strategic priorities: 

  • Reducing the number of severe injuries and fatal crashes on our network.  
  • Providing equitable access to a range of transport options that make it easy and safe to get around the city. 
  • Healthier environment with lower carbon emissions and improved air quality. 
  • Reduced speeds mean shorter stopping distances. 
  • The risk of injury or death in the event of a pedestrian or cyclist being hit by a vehicle is lower at a 30km/h speed.