Why are we changing speed limits?

    Improving safety on local roads is a key priority for the West Coast Regional Council, 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. 

    Why does it matter in the West Coast?

    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.

    What about State Highways?

    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.

    Where are these changes to speed limits occurring?

    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 in your area, check out our maps.

    When are these proposed speed changes being implemented?

    Proposed speed changes to local roads outside schools will be implemented by June 2024.

    For high-priority roads and areas, these proposed speed changes are anticipated to be in effect by June 2026.

    What are the benefits of lowering speeds?

    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. 

    How can I provide my feedback?

    Provide your feedback using the online form, or download this form (PDF 178.89KB) and return it by email, post or to the Customer Service counter.

    Customer Service: 105 Tainui St, Greymouth

    Email: greydc_infrastructure@reydc.govt.nz

    Phone: 03 769 8600 and ask for the Transportation Team 

    Feedback closes on Tuesday 16 April 2024 at 5pm.