Safe speed neighbourhoods

We’re making it safer around all schools and surrounding neighbourhoods.

Project status: Decision made
Open for feedback: 10 October 2022 to 3 January 2023

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Consultation has now closed

Consultation on Safe Speed Neighbourhoods has now closed. People were able to give feedback (available here [PDF, 8.6 MB]) from 10 October 2022 to 3 January 2023. 

As a result of consultation feedback, it has been proposed that streets in Redcliffs Village, Heathcote Valley, Cashmere, Redwood, Fendalton and Selwyn Street be included in the plan. Residents directly affected by these additions have been notified, and you can read their feedback here [PDF, 263 KB]

Find out how that influenced the Council decision(external link), made on 5 July 2023. 

Work on installing speed signage is expected to start in late-2023. For updates on Christchurch City Council speeds, check out our safe speeds webpage(external link)

Whether you’re visiting whanau and friends, letting tamariki walk, scoot or bike to school or driving to work and home again, you should be able to do it safely.

The safe speed neighbourhood programme is part of an integrated national road safety strategy.  Christchurch is adopting an area-based approach to changing speed limits to provide more consistency in communities, settlements and around schools. This approach also helps drivers know when they’re travelling in a safe speed area.

What we’re doing

We’re planning to reduce speeds from 50km/h to 30km/h around schools or 40km/h in neighbourhood streets, and Banks Peninsula settlements and roads, especially those around schools.

Streets and neighbourhoods around schools have been prioritised to make it safer for children to get to and from school.

We’re starting with the areas shown on the interactive map, with safe speeds rolling out on more streets over the next ten years, as funding allows. 

Before any changes are made towards making Christchurch and Banks Peninsula safer and easier to get around, we’re keen to hear if there is anything we need to know.

View the planned changes on our interactive map and have your say.  (external link)

To tell us what you think, drag a green comment icon from the top of the page and drop it on an area you would like to give feedback on. You can also email your feedback directly to

Safe speeds save lives

Regardless of the cause of a crash, speed is the difference between someone being able to walk away relatively unharmed, or being seriously injured or killed.

If a pedestrian is hit by a car travelling at 50km/h there’s only a 20% chance they will survive. At 30km/h, the survival rate increases significantly to 90%.  Lower speeds save lives and prevent serious injuries.

In 2016, Christchurch introduced a 30km/h zone within the central city core.

Since the introduction, the number of crashes resulting in death or serious injury has reduced: in the two-year period 2020-2021 there were 60% fewer serious crashes than there had been in the two-year period 2014-2015, prior to the lower speed limits being introduced.

Safe speed neighbourhoods

When everyone travels a bit slower people feel safer using the street, and walk, scoot or bike to parks, schools and shops.

Speeds need to reflect the environment of the street and other neighbourhood areas have been identified that support speeds of 40km/h or lower.

In this stage, implementation of lower speeds will centre around schools and neighbourhoods identified as already supporting lower speeds without the need for traffic calming measures.

In short, this stage is ‘signs and lines’ only as it is the sign that gives effect to the lower speed limits. Following speed changes, we will monitor average operating speeds and investigate options for traffic calming measures if needed.

Other areas of the city will have lower speeds implemented over the next ten years as funding becomes available through the full Speed Management Plan. 

Safe speed neighbourhoods are being introduced through several mechanisms including the Council’s Long Term Plan and the Christchurch Regeneration Acceleration Fund (CRAF). CRAF funding has been used to lower speeds in Richmond, Linwood, Woolston, Sydenham, Somerfield, Waltham and Beckenham.

We consulted on the Safe Speed Neighbourhoods programme (Interim Speed Management Plan)(external link) from 10 October 2022 to 3 January 2023. 

We made changes to our proposed plan as a result of the feedback we received during the consultation. These changes included adding Redcliffs Village, Heathcote Valley, Cashmere, Redwood, Fendalton and Selwyn Street to the plan.

The elected Council adopted the Interim Speed Management Plan(external link) on 5 July 2023.

Safe speeds near schools

We're in the process of lowering speeds to 30km/h outside all schools in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula. This will make it safer for tamariki (children) and rangatahi (young people) to get to school and home again.

One of the key action items in the Road to Zero Strategy is to set safe speed limits around all schools by the end of 2027, with an interim target of 40% of schools by 30 June 2024.

The speed limit changes are no longer limited to just being outside the front gate and are now focused on the journey to and from school.  With this in mind, the Council has taken an area-wide approach around schools using permanent 30km/h speed limits.

On our busier roads, variable speed limits will be used during school start and finish times only.

Safe speeds in Banks Peninsula

Speed limits have already been reduced in several areas of Banks Peninsula, and over the next two years, we will be lowering speeds to 30km/h on roads on or around all schools.

We have lowered speeds to 30km/h on roads on or around all schools including:

  • Lyttelton Primary School
  • Governors Bay
  • Chomondeley Children’s Centre
  • Diamond Harbour School
  • Little River School
  • Duvauchelle Primary School
  • Akaroa Area School

Roads around Okains Bay School, including Okains Bay Road, Back Road and Chorlton Road have been reduced to 40km/h.

Wainui and settlements in the Eastern Bays will be reduced to 40km/h including:

  • Le Bons Bay (beach settlement)
  • Okains Bay
  • Little Akaloa

Governors Bay and Diamond Harbour Roads will remain at 50km/h until we look more into what the appropriate speed is for these settlements (unless the road is outside schools, in which case speeds will be reduced to 30km/h). 

Pigeon Bay Road is acknowledged as one of the few straighter roads in Banks Peninsula, and our data tells us that people are comfortable driving at higher speeds on this road. Therefore the speed limit will be reduced to 80km/h.

The remaining winding rural roads throughout the Eastern Bays of Banks Peninsula are being reduced to 60km/h. This aligns with the recent changes throughout Banks Peninsula over the last two years, and includes major roads such as Summit Road and Long Bay Road, but mainly captures the low volume access roads to townships and rural areas.

Speeds in new subdivisions

Safe and appropriate speed limits will be set in all new developments through the subdivision process, to support a speed limit aligned with the One Network Framework for the street when it opens for use.

The One Network Frameworks(external link) is a national classification system, used to determine the function of our roads and streets, and inform decision-making. Visit the Waka Kotahi (external link)website for more details about this framework.

Safe and appropriate speeds have been determined using Waka Kotahi’s Speed Management Guide: Road to Zero edition. (external link)

Road to Zero Strategy

Road to Zero is New Zealand’s Road Safety strategy to significantly reduce death and serious injury on our roads by 40 per cent by 2030.

To achieve this goal, safer speeds are needed. Reducing the speed vehicles travel makes a major difference in a crash.

The Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022 came into effect on 19 May 2022 and replaces the 2017 Rule.

It introduces a new way of implementing speed management throughout New Zealand and makes the setting of speed limits more efficient for Councils, because it encourages a network-wide approach to setting speed limits, and also requires Councils to reduce speed limits around schools.

The Christchurch City Council will develop a ten-year Speed Management Plan alongside neighbouring Councils. This will set out the principles for developing safe and appropriate speeds across the remainder of the Christchurch network with implementation set out over three-year action plans.

The Council plans to engage with the community again when the 10-year plan has been developed.

Learn more about Road to Zero(external link).


Why are you changing speed limits?

Improving safety on local roads is a key priority for Christchurch City Council, we want our residents to get where they are going safely regardless of how they travel. 

Introducing safe and appropriate speeds on our network is fundamental to improving safety and saving lives. 

Council has a Level of Service to reduce the number of deaths or serious injuries from all crashes by 40% in 2030. That is a reduction of five or more per year, and for this to be under 71 crashes per year within the 10-year period. This is also a goal in the Road Safety Action Plan, which is a collaborative plan between Christchurch City Council, NZTA Waka Kotahi, ACC, FENZ and New Zealand Police. Having safe speeds is part of our solution to a safer network.

Why are speeds lowering around neighbourhood streets and schools?

Lowered speed limits have been in place around schools for some time, but the speed limit changes are no longer limited to just being outside the school front gate and are now focused on the journey to and from school.

The Council has taken an area-wide approach around schools using permanent 30km/h speed limits. We will implement as many as possible within the first two years of the Safe Speed Neighbourhoods programme.

On our busier roads, we’re using variable speed limits (using electronic signage) that will operate during school start and finish times only.

There are 145 schools in Christchurch that will need to have lower speeds

Visit the NZTA website to find out more about safe speeds around schools.(external link)

What are the benefits of lower speeds?

Speed determines whether anyone is killed, injured, or walks away unharmed from a crash.

Speed is the key factor in deaths and serious injuries (DSi) – no matter what the cause of an accident is, it’s speed that determines whether or not you’ll walk away from it. It is important to remember that speed influences the stopping distance and severity in every crash, so it could be argued that speed is, in fact, a factor in every crash. 

Reducing speed limits to safer speeds will result in a number of benefits:

  • Reduced number of people getting seriously injured or killed on our roads.
  • Safe walking or cycling trips to school for children and their families. 
  • Healthier environment with lower carbon emissions and improved air quality. 
  • Potential savings of $4.53m per life saved and $0.5m per injury prevented.

How do I report a speeding issue in my street?

If you have issues with drivers speeding, you can report this to the Police by using *555. This is free to call from a mobile phone to report road incidents which are urgent but not life-threatening. Find out more about reporting unsafe drivers on the Police website.(external link)

Will the Police be enforcing these lower speeds?

The NZ Police support safer speeds and are working closely with the Council to implement the speed changes.

Didn’t the government say there wouldn’t be any other blanket speed changes?

Yes, you may have heard that the Government is making changes to rules around speed limit reductions.

The Council is a road controlling authority (also known as an RCA), which gives us the ability* to consult on and set speed limits on the local roads within our council’s boundaries.

We are continuing in our delivery of the Safe Speed Neighbourhoods programme (Interim Speed Management Plan), as it was adopted by the elected Council on 5 July.

Advice from NZTA Waka Kotahi is that certified interim speed plans can continue to be implemented.

*Under the Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Act 2009.

How is this work being funded?

This work had previously been in line to receive funding under the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) Climate Emergency Response Fund (CERF) Transport Choices programme.

On 20 December 2023, Hon Simeon Brown, Minister of Transport advised the Christchurch City Council that the Transport Choices funding programme would not continue.

The speed limit reductions in Linwood, Phillipstown, Woolston and Bromley will instead be funded internally through the council’s Minor Road Safety Programme.

NZTA Waka Kotahi have confirmed a funding assistance rate of 51% to this programme.

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Who to contact

Hannah Ballantyne,
Senior Engagement Advisor

How the decision is made

  • Decision made

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