Reducing Auckland's city-centre speed limit to 30km/h is creating a stir among the public, with some welcoming the proposal and others calling it "absolutely ridiculous".

Yesterday, Auckland Transport announced its plan to introduce a new speed limit that would cover an area bounded by the central city motorways.

The proposal came in a bid to make the streets safer for growing numbers of pedestrians, cyclists and residents.

The Herald has received dozens of emails from people voicing their opinion after publishing the story early this morning.

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Graham Alder said it was madness that the average speed was dropping every year because of a "tsunami of cars".

"So if speeds are going down and accidents are going up clearly the already crawling speeds aren't the real issue."

Graham Carter blamed the pedestrians and cyclists for the increase in accidents.

"Texting while walking, earbuds with loud music, running lights. It would be good to see something proactive in these areas. Extend dangerous driving [rules] to dangerous walking and cycling," Carter said.

Some seemed to think AT was on the right track but some details needed to change.

Mike Dunshea said it was a great idea but AT needed to find an effective way to police it, just like it does for U-turns and running red lights.

AT wanted to drop speed limits on 700km, or 10 per cent, of the city's roads to address a sharp rise in the number of serious crashes in Auckland.

AT has proposed introducing a 30km/h speed limit in the central-city area outlined in red. Graphic / NZ Herald
AT has proposed introducing a 30km/h speed limit in the central-city area outlined in red. Graphic / NZ Herald

Town central roads like Broadway in Newmarket and Tamaki Dr in Mission Bay and St Heliers will have their speed limit reduced to 30km/h or 40km/h.

Peter Carruthers said some parts such as lower Queens St and Quay St around the ferry terminal should have the reduced limit, but it should not be broadly applied across the whole CBD area.

"Not Fanshawe, Hobson and Nelson St which are major arteries in and out of the city."

Orākei councillor Desley Simpson said she wasn't convinced and it would be better to encourage pedestrians to cross at pedestrian crossings and cyclists to use the cycleways instead of jaywalking.

"We spend multi millions of dollars building cycle lanes and bus lanes to separate users, which are sold to consumers as infrastructure to improve efficiency and safety.

"Add to that millions on traffic lights such as at Ngāpipi/Tamaki Drive for safety reasons, which AT noted increased travel times during peak hours.

"Add to that more pedestrian refuges and flashing lights by crossings. Where is the evaluation of all this new investment before speed reduction as another option?" Simpson said.

The proposal will go out for public consultation in November, with a wider package of lower speeds.

Between 2013 and 2017, the number of road deaths in Auckland rose from 48 to 64 and serious injuries rose from 438 to 749.

Mayor Phil Goff said Auckland had to address road safety issues, with too many people dying, but would not publicly back a 30km/h speed limit in the CBD.

"I expect Auckland Transport to make decisions on speed limits which are evidence-based and result in bringing down the road toll.

"I understand lower speed limits in the city centre may not greatly affect actual journey times for much of the day because traffic density already results in lower car speeds," Goff said.