By Shivika Mala

Drivers are now required to travel at a reduced speed limit of 30km/h in Auckland's Wynyard Quarter and Viaduct Harbour.

The new requirement is aimed at making the popular central city restaurant and night-life hub a safer place for pedestrians.

Kathryn King, Auckland Transport's manager for walking, cycling and road safety, said everyone had the right to get around their communities on foot and on a bike without risk.

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"While crashes are inevitable, the severity of impact can be tempered by a number of factors, of which a reduction in speed is possibly the most critical for survival," she said.

She added: "We also know that lower speeds in any community are good for business through greater visitor numbers and a more vibrant atmosphere."

Rod Marler, director design and place at Panuku Development Auckland, said: "This is an important component in assisting with the urban transformation of the area which has become increasingly popular with pedestrians, cyclists and people who use the space for recreational purposes.

"The rejuvenation of the area, and the growing number of people making the waterfront their home, means that a lower speed limit is needed to keep people safe and ensure the ongoing viability of the existing businesses that contribute to the precinct."

Chairwoman of the Waitemata Local Board Pippa Coom said the Wynyard Quarter had been designed for a slower-speed environment as part of long-term plans to encourage visitors, workers and residents to use a range of transport options.

"We're really pleased to see the implementation of the 30km/h speed zone following positive public feedback and support from the Wynyard Quarter Transport Management Association," she said.

"A safer speed will enable the growth of a vibrant residential and business community."

Auckland Transport (AT) and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said the aim of the speed management changes was to create safer and better environments for people walking, cycling and sharing the road space to keep everyone safe.

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All of the streets in the area will be reduced to 30km/h except Hamer St and Brigham St which will remain at 50km/h.

AT's longer-term plan includes physical changes to these roads to make them more suitable for a lower speed limit which will be reviewed in the next few years as the area continues to develop.