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Speeds on Christchurch to Akaroa road under spotlight

Wednesday, June 23, 2021   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: community engagement, consultation, safety, transport, submission

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 22nd June 2021

Are the speed limits on the main road between Christchurch and Akaroa set too high, too low or just right?

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is seeking community feedback on whether the speed limits are set at safe levels as part of its review into State Highway 75, which starts on Halswell Road, and a small part of State Highway 73 where Curletts Road meets Halswell Road.

People can provide input on any part of the route where they think speeds are not the right fit between Wednesday 23rd June and Tuesday 27th July 2021.

Seventy-five people have been killed or suffered serious injuries in crashes on the road from Christchurch to  Akaroa between 2011 and 2020, leaving families grieving and victims dealing with potentially life-long injuries.

“Canterbury ranks second in New Zealand next to Waikato for the highest fatality rate from car crashes over the past 10 years,” says Waka Kotahi System Manager Pete Connors.

“Given the relatively small traffic volumes on the Akaroa highway – averaging 1500 to 5000 vehicles per day from Tai Tapu to Akaroa – the number of serious and fatality crashes is very high.

“Christchurch to Akaroa is our highest-risk route in terms of personal safety in Canterbury. Making changes to the speed is the simplest thing we can do to increase people’s chances of walking away from a car crash or not sustaining serious injuries or dying.”

Local people are already calling for speeds to be lowered in some places on the road to Akaroa, says Mr Connors.

“Anyone who’s made the trip knows that it requires care, concentration and safe speeds as the road varies from long flat areas to winding hills over Hilltop and around Akaroa harbour. The scenic winding sections have steep drop-offs and reduced visibility, and this is where motorcyclists are being killed and injured.

“Cyclists and pedestrians use the road in close proximity to passing vehicles. Unforgiving roadside conditions and narrow shoulders mean there’s little margin for error if mistakes are made.

“We’d like people to tell us about places that are hard to get to or from, how safe they feel crossing the highway or letting children walk or cycle to school, and if there are any other sites or information that we need to be especially aware of,”  says Mr Connors.

This information will feed into the technical review of this route to help Waka Kotahi decide where speed limit changes could improve safety, and help shape any new proposed speed limits, which will later this year be formally consulted on.

How to have your say and community pop-up sessions

People can share their views on the safety of the route during drop-in sessions:

  • Thursday 1st July (3 to 6pm): Te Hapua Halswell Centre;
  • Tuesday 6th July (10am to 1pm): Tai Tapu Hotel;
  • Tuesday 6th July (3 to 6pm): Little River School; and
  • Saturday 10th July (11am to 2pm): The Gaiety Hall in Akaroa.

People can also find out more and share their thoughts:

Feedback is open until 11pm on Tuesday 27th July 2021.