Overjoyed at reduced speed limit

Residents are happy a busy road in Wairau Valley near Blenheim is likely to have its speed limit halved.

A Marlborough District Council committee voted unanimously last week to cut the speed limit from 100 kilometres an hour to 50kmh on Morse St, which contains a primary school, a community hall and a golf club.

At the meeting, the assets and services committee also voted to impose a blanket speed limit of 70kmh on all roads which intersected State Highway 63 in the Wairau Valley.

Chairperson of Wairau Valley Residents and Ratepayers Association Karen McDonald said yesterday she was absolutely overjoyed to hear the news.

"It is my worst nightmare that a small child would be struck on that street. This reduces the risk of that sort of thing," she said. Mrs McDonald, who lives on the street, said the speed limit had been an ongoing issue and the next step was to get the change brought about as soon as possible.

"As the weather gets wet and it gets darker earlier, and with no footpath, and no lighting on the majority of the street . . . it is going to become more of a risk."

It was a strange anomaly that you could technically drive 100kmh on such a short, dead-end street, she said.

"Thankfully [Marlborough District Councillor] Peter Jerram has kept abreast of things."

Mr Jerram, a Wairau and Awatere ward councillor, said Wairau Valley residents had been fighting to get the speed limit lowered on the street for some time and he and the council did not want to wait until there was a death on that section of the road before something was done about it.

He said although the New Zealand Transport Authority had the final say, it was essentially a council decision and he was confident the full council would support the committee's recommendation at the next council meeting.

"We will ratify that, it is a no-brainer."

He said he could not say definitely when any changes would take effect.

The recommended changes to the speed limits will go to the full council for approval this month and then to consultation with stakeholders and the community.

The Marlborough Express