Tasman district councillor Stu Bryant is backing a reduction in the speed limit on Queen St, saying “it makes good sense” to lower the limit on Richmond’s main street from 50kmh to 30kmh.
Council plans to carry out consultation on the speed reduction, which is aimed at making Queen St more pedestrian-friendly.
The street has a 50kmh speed limit but Stu, who is the chairman of the engineering services committee, says that needs to be reduced.
“It’s part of the Queen St upgrade and we’re trying to make the street more pedestrian-friendly,” Stu says. “It makes good sense to have the cars going slow where there are lots of pedestrians and children.”
Stu says lowering the speed limit could also result in lower traffic volumes on Queen St because it would encourage drivers to use the ring road system around the Richmond CBD.
He says lowering the speed limit will change the “whole concept” of Queen St, creating an environment where people will want to sit, talk and interact and that will benefit retailers and the whole community.
Although many drivers already travel at around 30kmh along Queen St, Stu says that’s because the raised pedestrian crossings act as speed humps and slow down the traffic.
Once the raised crossings are removed during the upgrade, the only way to ensure cars travel at a safe speed along Queen St will be to reduce the speed limit.
“We don’t want Queen St to become a rat-run for all the cars.
“It’s going to have wider footpaths and a narrower road surface so it’s not designed for cars travelling at 50kmh.
“We don’t want the boys racers hooning up and down the street either.”
Stu says the proposal to lower the speed limit was not included in the initial plans for the upgrade and had only “come to light lately.”
He says council will hold a public consultation on the proposal, which would apply on the section of street between Gladstone and Salisbury roads and, if it was adopted, will come into effect on July 1 next year.