Drivers appeared to have largely accepted new speed limits in Tauranga's CBD, a council official says.

The new limit, dropping from 50 to 30km/h, applied just over a week ago between First Avenue and McLean Street, and between Cameron Road and the waterfront.

Transformation committee chair Larry Baldock said motorists appeared to understand slower speeds made good sense in such a busy environment.

"I haven't had anyone complain and the change has been accepted pretty well," he said. "Everything's going smoothly. People seem to see the logic of the speed decrease."


Road safety was the main reason cited for the change. In February, 90-year-old Molly Heapy died after a collision between her mobility scooter and a car on Ninth Ave.

And just one month later, an elderly woman died after being hit by a car in the CBD.

"It just makes sense to make it 30km/h over the whole CBD so everyone understands - slow down and keep people safe," Baldock said.

The 30km/h speed limit is a trial for the first year. The council will then consult with the public and look at crash data to see whether it had made a difference.

A similar decrease has been successful in nearby Mount Maunganui as well as other cities including Auckland and Christchurch.

"We are slowly transforming the city centre to be more pedestrian friendly," Baldock said.

"We're doing more street upgrades so it makes sense to slow the cars down. We recognise pedestrian and cyclists are an important priority."

As well as safety improvements, the Tauranga council hoped the lower speed would also encourage residents to turn to other means of transport.

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