Councils empowered to reshape streets to meet local needs

Transport

The Government has given councils new powers to make street changes more easily in pursuit of locally agreed needs and objectives, Transport Minister David Parker said today.

“Councils have asked for law change that gives them greater autonomy in how they modify their streets. Decisions at this level should be made locally, not by central Government,” David Parker said.

“Existing law in this area is out of step with rapidly changing ways that we use our streets. Public consultation in 2022 showed strong support for the changes.

“Councils will have greater ability to make roads around schools and kura safer during pick-up and drop-off times through a new option to filter or restrict traffic on nearby streets at certain times of day. These school street measures are common overseas, including in the United Kingdom and Europe.

“Councils will be able to more easily trial, remove, add or changes to streets such as speed bumps, cycle lanes, bus lanes and footpaths, and to make these changes permanent if they prove successful. Reshaping streets does not remove a local authority’s obligation to consult with the public.

“It will also be easier for communities to hold short public street events, which will make quiet, local streets safer for children to play and help neighbours come together.

“Allowing councils to make better use of our streets is what councils and the public wanted. It is a common sense law change,” David Parker said.

More information about these initiatives can be found on the Waka Kotahi website.