Speed limit slashed on Christchurch's Summit Road after dozens of crashes

Source: 1News

After dozens of crashes in the past few years, the speed limit on Christchurch's most picturesque road has been significantly reduced.

The move follows hundreds of submissions from people with major safety concerns about the Summit Road to the Port Hills.

The road is narrow and winding and its steep drop-offs have been concerning residents for some time.

"It's used as a recreational area in a whole lot of ways. And a lot of it's active as in walking and cycling. So clearly that's at a different pace to road traffic. And with a narrow road, it's often unsafe for them," said Rik Tindall of the Cashmere Residents Association. 

Following a speed limit review, and more than 250 submissions from the public the speed limit on the Summit Road has been reduced from 100 kilometres-an-hour down to 60.

The lowered speed limit will cover Summit Road from Godley Head, Evans Pass Road, Sumner Road, Mount Pleasant Road, Broadleaf Lane and Worsleys Road to Gebbies Pass Road. 

Mike Davidson of Christchurch City Council said the Summit Road "is just a classic example where the speed limit was not a safe speed limit. So what we've done now is we've gone through all the submissions, all the data, and we've actually put in place a speed limit which is reflective of the environment that it is".

There have been 52 car crashes between Evans Pass and Gebbies Pass in the last five years. Nearly half of those have resulted in serious injury, including one fatality just last month.

And that doesn't include cyclists and motorbikes.

"Unfortunately it's always going to be an attraction for miles around, and from outside the area, for people to come here to use their cars recreationally," Mr Tindall said, 

The council agrees the move is no silver bullet.

"We know that actually people are going to break this speed limit. But it is hoped that this will actually try and curb some of that antisocial behaviour as well. And also it gives police a tool for enforcement," Mr Davidson said. 

Residents say they'll be pushing for the speed to be lowered even further, if cars continue ending up at the bottom of the cliffs.