Speed limit scrap revving up

A scrap has broken out between the Petone Community Board and councillors over the speed limit on Seaview Rd.

The board believes there is no need to reduce the 70kmph limit to 50kmph.

Its view is based on submissions from locals and a belief that council traffic engineer Bryan Sparey told them the road is safe, and reducing the limit could not be justified.

After hearings submissions, the board made a recommendation to retain the current limit.

Board chairman Gerald Davidson last week told councillors that there was no evidence of a speeding problem and no reason to change the limit.

The council roading engineer had been quite clear in his evidence and Mr Davidson questioned why the issue had come up for discussion.

Passing large trucks dangerously and trucks turning onto the road have been raised as safety issues. Both problems would remain no matter what the speed limit, he said.

If cyclists have a problem on the road, they should use Port Road, he said.

Board deputy chair Mason Branch supported the call to reject reducing the limit.

"One of your own roading engineers said to us 'we do not need a reduction in the limit'."

The comments drew a sharp response from Cr Max Shierlaw.

The police, council officers, cycling groups and the New Zealand Transport Agency all support a reduction in the limit, he said.

He accused the board of "misrepresenting" what Mr Sparey said and ignoring safety issues.

Cyclists have every right to use the road and he rejected the suggestion they should use Port Rd.

Cr Lisa Bridson said it is clear the board did not take safety issues into consideration. Of the 39 businesses on Seaview Rd, 29 favour a reduction, she said.

Mayor Ray Wallace said the council was right to reject the board's recommendation as the current speed limit is a safety issue.

The council agreed to refer the matter back to the board with instructions to take a fresh look at the issue.

Hutt News