Time For Auckland Transport’s Board To Stand Up For Road Safety

Mar 22, 2024
Time For Auckland Transport’s Board To Stand Up For Road Safety

Bike Auckland

Auckland Transport (AT)’s Katoa, Ka Ora road safety plan is the result of two years of consultation, 8,000 submissions, broad support from elected representatives, and compelling evidence of results. So it’s galling that AT’s board last month deferred a decision on approving a big chunk of the plan. That decision will go back to the Auckland Transport Board soon and we’ve written to board members to ask them to greenlight it. Our letter, which also went to AT CEO Dean Kimpton and to the media, is below: 

21 March 2024

Dear Richard Leggat and board members of Auckland Transport

Cc: Dean Kimpton

Re: Your support requested for safer roads

On behalf of Bike Auckland and the 150,000-plus cyclists that ride in our region, I write to ask for your full-hearted support for Auckland’s speed management plan, Katoa, Ka Ora.

As you know, Katoa, Ka Ora is the result of two years of consultation and the consideration of 8,000 submissions. The final draft was revised to include only areas where the local board supported the relevant speed changes. The programme received unanimous support from the Auckland Council Transport and Infrastructure Committee in December 2023. 

You’ll be aware as well that data collected over a two year period confirmed a reduction in road deaths of 30 percent and serious injuries of 21 percent on roads with safer speeds, compared with a nine percent increase on roads where speed limits were not changed.

It’s deeply disappointing, then, that the board last month chose to endorse half of the plan, addressing speeds around schools, marae and Karioitahi beach only, and to leave the rest of Katoa, Ka Ora for discussion at the meeting of 26 March.

That discussion matters to anyone who values their safety on Auckland’s roads but it is vital for people on bikes. With access to only the most modest of separated cycleway networks, we share roads with motor vehicles on the majority of our trips, and are acutely aware that our safety is to a large extent a function of their speeds.

We urge you to be ambitious and to approve in its entirety a plan with broad support across the region, the backing of Auckland Council, and proven results. The people of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland deserve the safest roads they can get.

Ka kite anō au i a koutou,

Karen Hormann

Chair – Bike Auckland

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