Council lobbies NZTA for safer Speeds
Creating safer roads are behind Council’s finalised Interim Speed Management Plan, which was approved at the Ordinary Council Meeting on 12 December.
A draft document went out for public consultation in October containing the proposed changes which were made up of three focus areas. Thirty-nine submissions were received.
Waimate District Council Roading Manager Robert Moffat made a late submission based on public feedback during the consultation period, which suggested minor changes to the maps.
The first focus area was on reducing roads around most of the schools in the district to 30km/h. Not included were – St Patrick’s School, which is far enough off the road; Waituna School, which already has an advisory speed of 40km/h, Waihao Downs, which is on State Highway 82.
Eighty-two percent of submitters agreed to support lowering speed limits around schools.
The second focus area involved reducing speeds on five roads in recreational and industrial areas – Limestone Hills Road, Cooneys Road, Centrewood Park Road and a section of Parkers Bush Road are all proposed to be 40km/h, and a section of Mill Road will be reduced to 60km/h. Of the submissions, 52% were in favour of these changes.
The third focus area was the Central Business Area, with the streets around Queen Street between Rugby Street and the Council main office reduced to 30km/h. Queen Street itself is part of State Highway 82 and is administered by NZTA Waka Kotahi. Fifty-seven percent of submissions were in favour of the changes.
When making its recommendation, Council decided that a slight increase in travel times were worth the increased safety benefits reducing speeds would have.
It considered the implementation of variable speed limits but decided it would be more confusing to people and it was better to have consistent speed limits. The cost of implementing variable speed areas was another consideration.
The recommendations will now go NZTA Waka Kotahi and, if approved, will be implemented next year.