Consultation starts next week, from Labour Day, on two highway speed reviews in the Clutha District, as part of a Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency initiative identifying highways where lower speed limits could make a big difference in preventing deaths and serious injuries, and where communities are calling for change.
The reviews are on the SH90 southern entrance into Tapanui and on SH1 at Rosebank just south of Balclutha.
“There’s community support for a lower speed limit on these two sections of highway, which also has the backing of key stakeholders including the Clutha District Council, and NZ Police,” says Transport Agency Director Regional Relationships Jim Harland. “We know many locals are concerned about increasing traffic volumes and vehicles’ speeds in their communities.
“Traffic is increasing on these two highways, particularly on SH1 at Rosebank where a new industrial park is now operating and attracting more traffic especially large trucks, and this will only increase as more businesses move into the park. The average daily traffic count past the industrial park is now just over 3,650 vehicles a day, up 12 percent on four years earlier. Most of those we talked to in the area, including businesses in the industrial park, said 100km/h in this area was too fast, didn’t feel safe and highway speeds were too high.”
At the southern entrance to Tapanui, Mr Harland says local people had said that the existing 100km/h speed limit on SH90 is simply too fast, and the road didn’t feel safe for an area with businesses and a new residential development. They also said this limit doesn’t give highway traffic time to slow down before entering an area where people live and work.
“While our technical assessments of this site support the proposed speed limit change, feedback from councils, local residents and other key stakeholders is critical to ensuring the most appropriate and safest speeds become permanent and enforceable for these everyone.”
Mr Harland says this feedback will be considered by the Transport Agency before it makes any final decisions on these proposed speed limit changes. The consultation period gives people a month to provide feedback.
Move the existing 80km/h speed limit from where it currently ends near McKay Road, 450 metres further south to just past the industrial park. The existing speed limit on this section of highway is 100km/h.
Extend the existing 50km/h speed limit 200 metres south toward Gore. This length of highway has an existing 100km/h limit.
Consultation opens Monday 28 October and runs to Friday, 29 November.
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