“ACT would ensure the next Government scraps the advice that is encouraging councils to lower speed limits, and instead tell councils to focus on what is right for communities - safe and efficient roads, not slowing people down and making society less productive,” says ACT’s Transport spokesperson Simon Court.
“Hipkins has tried to shy away from lowering speed limits as part of his ‘policy bonfire’, but his Government is still pressuring local councils to do it via the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022, which requires councils to review and reduce speed limits in line with Road to Zero.
“The document states that “Currently only around 15 percent of our speed limits are aligned to achieving this vision (of lower speed limits)." That means 85 per cent of New Zealand’s roads are still at the mercy of speed reductions.
“Not only would ACT stop telling councils to lower speed limits, we’ll tell them to return lowered speed limits to their previous levels, where appropriate. We expect this will be the case in most situations. The calculation will be very simple, if the reduction wasn’t justified on health and safety grounds, if there was no evidence that people faced unusual danger from cars at 50 km/h, then the speed limit must go back.
“The thing that Labour can’t seem to get their head around is that people actually have places to be and stuff to do. Whether it’s getting kids to sport practice, getting to work, trucks delivering goods or tradies getting to jobs, people want and need to be able to move around quickly.
“Earlier this year documents I received through OIA showed that Waka Kotahi is on track to triple the length of roads that have undergone ‘speed limit management’ by 2030 but has massively underdelivered on safety initiatives. Road to Zero needs a u-turn.
“ACT supports moves to lower the road toll – but that comes from better roading infrastructure, not slowing people down, causing frustration, and putting further restrictions on businesses.
“Increasing the level of private sector funding will inject much-needed discipline into decision-making while allowing the Government to maintain prudent levels of public debt.
“Between 2007 and 2017, more than NZ$300 billion was raised by funds globally to invest in infrastructure. Most of that capital was raised from insurance companies, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds (including our own New Zealand Super Fund) looking for long-term investments with reasonable returns.
“Slowing people down and making society less productive is not the answer for safer roads. Investing in modern infrastructure and improving the roads that Kiwis drive on is.
“ACT will keep standing up for Kiwis who have places to be and stuff to do. We need the country to grow, not go slow.”