Find out about proposed streets and speed zone changes for Lower Hutt as part of the new Land Transport Rule requiring the reduction of speed.
In 2023 we consulted with the community about reducing speed limits around schools in Lower Hutt as part of our Speed Management Plan 2024-2027 to make our roads safer for all users.
Council has now approved changes to speed limits around 41 suburban schools and work has begun to change signage to either fixed (permanent) speed limits of 30 km/hr or variable limits of 30 km/hr that apply during school pick and drop off time.
Wainuiomata schools were the first to start receiving the updated signage in December and the remaining schools’ signage is changing in January and February 2024.
We don't expect the signage work to cause any disruption to road users as the works are all being performed on the berm.
Group One – From 18 December 2023
All Wainuiomata schools
Group Two – From 17 January 2024
- Dyer Street School
- Normandale School
- Korokoro School
- Epuni School
- Our Lady of the Rosary School
- Gracefield School
- Randwick School
- Naenae Primary School
- Petone Central school
- Sacred Heart School
- Koraunui School
- Maranatha Christian School
- Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School
- Wilford School
Group 3 – From approx 22 January 2024
- Hutt Central School
- Wā Ora Montessori School
- St Bernadette's School
- Rata Street School
- Tui Glen School
- Tawhai School
- Waterloo School
- Belmont School
- Avalon Primary School
- Avalon Intermediate School
- Naenae College
- Naenae Intermediate
- Kimi Ora School
- Pomare School
- Taita Central School
- St Michael's School
- Maungaraki School
- Kelson School
- Muritai School
- Taita College
Group 4 – later in 2024
- Wellesley College
- Ss Peter and Paul School
- Sacred Heart College (Lower Hutt)
- Hutt Valley High School
- Eastern Hutt School
- Boulcott School
- St Bernard’s College
- Chilton Saint James School
- Hutt Intermediate School
- Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Ara Whanui
- St Oran’s College
For phase one, we received 154 submissions from the community and feedback was largely supportive, with 75% of submissions welcoming reduced speeds around schools. 17% of submissions were neutral and included a mixture of positive and negative feedback.
We value the feedback from the community, and we have made changes in response to the feedback in the following areas.
Many of the changes include changing the speed limit from a fixed all-day limit of 30km/h to variable speed limits of 30km/h during school drop-off and pick-up hours only. Other sections of roads or streets have been extended or removed from the changes according to feedback.
- For Gracefield and Our Lady of the Rosary schools, the length of road on Wainuiomata Road with variable speed limits has been extended.
- For Hutt Central School, Victoria Street, the Railway Ave and Hutt Rd segments have been changed from fixed speed limits to variable speed limits.
- For Avalon Intermediate School, Taitā Drive and De Menech Grove have been removed from this programme of work.
- For Petone Central School and Sacred Heart Petone, Latimer Way has been removed from the programme.
- For Taitā College, Eastern Hutt Road has been changed to variable speed limits.
- For Tui Glen and Tawhai schools, Stokes Valley Rd has been changed to variable speed limits.
- For Wainuiomata Primary, the speed limit now starts from the corner of Hine Road and Main Rd to the corner of Moores Valley Rd and Main Rd.
- For Muritai School, the Muritai Rd segment has been changed to variable speed limits.
- For Kelson School, Major Drive segment has been changed to variable speed limits.
This is work is line with the Government’s new Land Transport Rule requiring slower speeds around schools to improve safety. The rule requires us to have 40% of school speed limit changes completed by 30 June 2024, with the remainder completed by 31 December 2027, and these changes must be built into speed management plans.
Schools were grouped into two categories to determine the appropriate speed limit for their surrounding roads, and all 54 schools in Lower Hutt fall under category one. Category one school areas require 30 km/h (fixed or variable) speed limits, or 40km/h limits if these were in place prior to consultation on the new Speed Rule.
We conducted speed reviews to classify which roads are more suitable to have a 30km/h speed limit all the time and which roads should have 30km/h speed limits only during school pickup and drop off hours. The speed reviews analysed current driver’s operating speeds, traffic volumes in addition to land use in the area, along with pedestrian needs.
Won’t reducing speeds slow down traffic?
We’re reducing speeds to 30km/h limits on streets where the average speed is already around or below 30km/h, as the road can’t accommodate the existing speed limit of 50km/h.
Reducing the speed limit to 30km/h would improve safety and accessibility for other road users with minimum disruption to drivers that are currently travelling at speeds close to 30km/h, although the area has a 50km/h legal limit.
But the traffic is already slow.
When cars travel at slower speeds than posted speed limits, it usually means that the road cannot accommodate the advertised speed. It is important to have accurately posted speed limits appropriate for the road as there is a perceived sense of safety by following the correct speed.
The accuracy of the speed limit sign also carries a message to users about the appropriate speed the road environment can manage.
How it will be enforced?
Having all breaches of road legalities enforced is a challenge. We realise and acknowledge that there will still be breaches, however, the changes will allow Police to reprimand dangerous driving behaviour.
What about improving signage & adding pedestrian crossings?
Some residents raised issues in their community as well as suggestions to address those concerns, such as improved signage or additional pedestrian crossings. Officers have been in contact with relevant residents and will investigate those concerns.
What about roads outside of the School Speed Review and the Land Transport Rule interpretation
Some feedback highlighted issues with roads outside the scope of the School Speed Review. Many of these streets are included in the City-wide Speed Review, which is open for consultation until Monday 5 June. Our interactive map shows all the proposed changes and consultation phases: hutt.city/draftspeedmanagementmap
Feedback relating to streets included in the City-wide speed review has been passed on to be included in that consultation.
Why are we proposing some roads with 30km/h fixed speed limits all the time and not just in the school hours?
All schools in Lower Hutt fall under Category One according to the Speed Management guide: Road to Zero edition (2022) and are required to have 30km/h speed limits in school zones (fixed or variable). Arterial roads with high movement which play a vital role in helping people move across the city efficiently, are proposed to have variable speed limits at the parts of those streets which fall under school zones.
What defines a category one school?
Category one schools are more likely to be in areas with existing 50 km/h speed limits. These areas potentially have high numbers of more vulnerable road users in the vicinity (adult/child pedestrians, cyclists, micro-mobility users) with consequently higher risk. This may be from more housing in the school vicinity, making it more suitable to use active transport modes.
Will there be better signage in place indicating what times variable speed reductions are for?
Yes, we will be providing clear signage and pavement markings for motorists to know what the speed limits are. This will include repeater signs along longer roads to avoid confusion.
Why bother when people are already going over the speed limit around schools?
Slower speeds will reduce the safety risk for all road users. We will continue to monitor the speed environment of roads and may consider engineering interventions such as speed bumps in areas where the safety risk is notably high or seek further enforcement with NZ Police.
Have there been any traffic injuries or deaths around schools?
In Lower Hutt school zones, there were at least 2,517 crashes on weekdays in the last 5 years. 451 of them occurred during 8:00am-9:00am and 2:30pm-3:30pm. While they have different causes, speed is the main factor in determining the severity of the crash in all of them. With appropriate speed limits and an environment with proper engineering treatments, people are more likely to walk out from crashes with minor or non-injuries.
We’re proposing changes to speed limits in Lower Hutt, to improve safety in line with the Government’s nationwide ‘Road to Zero’ campaign, which has a target of reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 40% by 2030.
Our Draft Speed Management Plan (2024-2027) aims to make our roads safer for all road users by reviewing speed limits across Lower Hutt. We're also proposing safety measures such as speed bumps, raised pedestrian crossings and intersection safety upgrades.
Earlier this year, we consulted with the community about reducing speed limits around schools in Lower Hutt. Phase one of our consultation for roads around schools is closed, and changes to speed limits around 42 suburban schools have been approved by Council. Read more on our School Speed Reviews below.
Consultation on the city-wide speed limits has closed. We'll update this page once feedback has been reviewed and the changes have been approved by Council.
- We’re proposing to reduce speed limits in areas next to community centres and neighbourhood shops to 30 km/hr.
- This will increase safety and encourage people to walk and cycle more.
- We’ll also look to use speed-calming measures such as speed bumps and raised pedestrian crossings.
- We’re proposing to change speed limits on two high-traffic urban roads:
- A section of Harcourt Werry Drive in Taitā from 70km/h to 50km/h, where the road is located between two parks with a high volume of pedestrians that cross this route. The traffic volume and speed is currently unsafe and inappropriate.
- Parkway in Wainuiomata, where we propose changing the 60km/h section down to 50km/h. This is similarly located between a marae and a sports field, where there’s a high volume of pedestrian activity and the existing speed limit is unsafe and inappropriate.
- We’re proposing a 40km/hr speed limit throughout Korokoro, Maungaraki, Normandale, Harbour View, Tirohanga, Belmont and Kelson.
- The Western Hills has a higher-than-average number of injury crashes in our city, with 33 minor injury and two serious injury crashes in five years (2017-2021).
- These suburbs have a lower-than-average operating speed environment of 26km/h. Less than 3% of roads in Western Hills have an average operating speed higher than 45km/h.
- Reducing the speed limit will have minimal effect on travel time due to the existing operating speed environment and might only affect the fastest ~3% of drivers, while reducing the safety risk for all road users.
Read the Draft Speed Management Plan 2024-2027: Draft Speed Management Plan
We’re consulting on changes included in this plan for the next three years, and will consult on longer-term changes in due course.
View the changes in an interactive map. The map includes four layers relating to our overall draft speed management plan (city-speed draft plan, school speed review, long-term draft plan and interim school zone plan). You can also search addresses to see any proposed changes in that area.
Consultation has closed and we will provide an update once we've reviewed your feedback, and changes have been approved by Council.
15 March 2023 - Council briefing
8 May – 5 June 2023 - Consultation period
June 2023 - Review public feedback, and make changes to the draft Plan
13 July 2023 - Infrastructure and Regulatory Subcommittee meeting
25 July 2023 - Council meeting
September 2023 - Submit this draft Plan to Greater Wellington Regional Council as part of a regional speed management plan
By June 2024 - Regional Transport Committee approves or rejects this draft Plan and submits it to Waka Kotahi to be certified
June 2024–June 2027 - Implement the changes outlined in this Plan
By September 2026 - Prepare a Plan for 2027–2030.
Why reduce speed limits?
- Data shows that speed is a major contributor to road safety, affecting both the likelihood and severity of crashes. For car-pedestrian crashes, pedestrians are only 10% likely to walk away from a crash at 40km/h, but are 90% likely to walk away from a crash at 30km/h.
- In the five-year period of 2017-2021 there were 843 reported crashes with injuries. The severity of injuries in these crashes would have been reduced if the travel speed at impact was slower.
- The social cost of these incidents is $96M over five years.
Why change the speed in the Western Hills to 40km/h?
- The proposed change is in response to advice in the NZTA Speed Management Guide which recommends “Collector roads without separated cycle lanes should be 40km/h”.
- The draft plan recommends a blanket 40km/h speed limit for the area to avoid multiple and confusing 30-40-30 km/h changes. This is partially done to have a consistent, easier, and predictable driver environment, while also reducing the safety risk.
- The Western Hills has a higher-than-average number of injury crashes in our city, with 33 minor injury and two serious injury crashes in five years (2017-2021). Many roads in the Western Hills have tight winding corners with restricted visibility at intersections and driveways, and greater safety risk from an infrastructure perspective due to cliffs.
- This area has a lower-than-average operating speed environment of 26km/h. Less than 3% of roads in Western Hills have an average operating speed higher than 45km/h. Reducing the speed limit in this area will have minimal effect on travel time due to the existing operating speed environment and might only affect the fastest ~3% of drivers, while reducing the safety risk for all road users.
- Reducing the speed limit from 50kph to 40kph on urban roads will have minimal impact on travel time. For example, for the 1.7km distance from State Highway 2 to Dowse shops, the time difference between driving at 43km/h versus 50km/h would be 17 seconds, assuming cars travel at consistent speeds around the corner.
Will it slow down traffic?
- NZTA reviewed current travel speeds which showed these changes would not make significant changes to a traveller’s full journey. Cars are travelling at around 30km/h on the streets we are proposing to have permanent 30km speed limits, although the current speed limit is 50km/h. It shows that the street is more appropriate with 30km/h speed limits.
- Only two roads (Victoria St Alicetown, High St Boulcott) have existing speed environments greater than 10km/h difference to what’s proposed, and those are for short 200m sections, so will likely impact traffic by up to 20 seconds.
- Current average operating speeds (taken from an NZTA database)
- In the CBD: 26km/h
- In Western Hills: 26km/h
- In neighbourhood centres: 25km/h
- Reducing the speed limit in the Western Hills from 50kph to 40kph will have minimal impact on travel time. For example, for the 1.7km distance from State Highway 2 to Dowse shops, the time difference between driving at 43km/h versus 50km/h would be 17 seconds, assuming cars travel at consistent speeds around the corner.
What evidence do you have that lower speeds reduce fatal and serious injuries?
We know reducing speed limits works and helps to improve the safety of our roads, and we’ve used engineering and transport experts to identify areas where speed limits may need to be reduced. For example:
- In 2021, there were 21 reported crashes that involved serious injuries on our local road network.
- Since 2011, 87 deaths and serious injury crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists have occurred in the Hutt Valley.
- In the five-year period of 2017-2021 there were 843 reported crashes with injuries (114 were car V pedestrian).
- The severity of injuries in these crashes would have been reduced if the travel speed at impact was slower. Data shows that speeds of no more than 30 km/h increase survivability in the instance of collisions.
- The likelihood of incurring a severe injury or fatality in a pedestrian or cyclist crash is approximately 35% for a car travelling at 43km/h, compared to 80% for a car travelling at 50km/h.
Who was involved in developing the new rule?
- Te Manatū Waka Ministry of Transport began the process to develop the new rule with a paper to Cabinet which set out a new framework for setting speed limits. Waka Kotahi worked with Te Manatū Waka to make the rule workable within that framework, using feedback from consultation on the proposed draft rule to further refine it and ensure it is easily understood. A summary of this analysis and consideration of feedback is presented in the Summary of Submissions document alongside subsequent changes to the rule. Summary of Submissions from the 2021 consultation [PDF, 856 KB].
How does the framework fit within the Road to Zero 2020-2030 strategy?
- New Zealand’s Road to Zero 2020-2030 road safety strategy sets us on a path to achieve Vision Zero, a vision where no one is killed or is seriously injured in road crashes. The speed management framework delivers part of the Road to Zero 2020-2022 action plan. Speed plays an undeniable role in the horrifying numbers of people being killed or seriously injured on New Zealand’s roads. Even when speed doesn’t cause the crash, it’s what will most likely determine whether anyone is killed, injured, or is unharmed.
- When speed limits are safe for the road, simple mistakes are less likely to end in tragedy. The speed management framework sets out a new approach to speed management planning which significantly changes the way speed limits are set and ensures decisions about speed limit changes are made (and described) in the context of safety-related infrastructure improvements and the placement of safety cameras.
Why do we need to change speed limits when people are already travelling slowly?
- To allow enforcement and engineering interventions for drivers who are not travelling at safe speeds. Having higher speed limits than what the roads can accommodate can lead to a perceived sense of safety that the drivers are following the rules. Therefore, speed limits need to reflect the capacity of the road.
What are the engineering interventions?
- We will consider all engineering intervention options such as speed bumps or raised pedestrian crossings depending on the speed environment. Guidelines from Speed management guide: Road to Zero edition – additional technical information will be followed.
How will this be enforced?
- We will work with the Police to monitor and enforce the new speed limits regularly; engineering interventions will be provided to assist safer speeds. Engineering interventions include speed humps along some roads, notably in areas with higher number of pedestrian crossing movements. Other enforcement tools may include speed cameras.
Why change the speed limit on roads that aren’t arterial roads?
- Safe and appropriate speed limits are needed on all roads. While there have been more injury crashes on arterial roads, we need to have a consistent approach to safe speeds for all roads. For reported crashes in Lower Hutt between 2017-21 there were 843 injury crashes, and 322 of those were not on arterial roads.
How are the proposed speeds limits determined?
- The speed limits were determined by considering several factors such as operating speeds, traffic demands, usage, crash data and infrastructure risks. For details, please refer to Speed Management guide: Road to Zero edition (2022)
Why aren’t sections of Jackson Street highlighted on page 11 of the plan?
- The only section of Jackson Street to have the speed limit altered to 30km/h under the draft plan is between Hutt Road and Nelson Street. The remainder of Jackson Street, i.e. between Nelson and Cuba Streets, is already proposed to be 30km/h under the Draft Schools Interim Speed Management Plan.