Council alters speed limits

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 05:00 23/07/2014
speed signs

SPEED CHANGES: Speed limits are being reduced to 70kmh in rural areas where the roads are windy and potentially dangerous to visitors.

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Changes to the speed limits of traffic in 37 parts of Marlborough have been approved by the Marlborough District Council.

The majority of the changes reduce speeds to 50 kilometres an hour in what have become built-up areas of housing, or to 70kmh in rural areas where the roads are windy and potentially dangerous to visitors.

It is thought to be the first time in 10 years speeds have been reviewed across the district. Some changes have been made to individual roads since 2005.

The changes went out for public submission in February, and five submissions were received. They were from the Renwick Residents' Association, the Picton Business Group, Grovetown resident Anthony Jordan, the police, and the Automobile Association.

The police approved all changes proposed.

Neither Jordan nor the Picton Business Group were successful in their submissions.

Jordan asked for the 50kmh zone to be extended on Elliot St, Tytler St, Fell St, and Steam Wharf Rd in Grovetown, arguing there were people living in those streets at risk from cars travelling at 100kmh.

The council decided to extend the 50kmh zone 45 metres down Elliot St, but not to restrict speeds in the other streets because they were rural.

The Picton Business Group requested speeds in the Picton central business district be restricted to 30kmh, arguing it was important that central business district speeds were appropriate for the pedestrian environment.

If this was not supported, it asked for extra traffic calming measures.

The council decided to retain speeds at 50kmh but to look at whether extra traffic calming measures were needed.

Renwick Residents' Association chairman Anthony van de Water spoke to the meeting and convinced councillors to reduce the 70kmh speeds on Terrace Rd and Gee St to 50kmh, as well as the 70kmh section of Boyce Rd to 50kmh.

Van de Water said the streets were no longer rural, as there were many houses, the Department of Conservation offices, and a cellar door giving the area a more urban character and so a 50kmh speed limit was better.

Councillors accepted that, with councillor Peter Jerram saying there was no reason not to do what the residents wanted.

"Residents live there, they know the issues, it would be sad if we didn't listen to them."

Marlborough Roads safety analyst Andrew James said the roading agency accepted there was some housing in those roads and was happy to accept the changes.

It also accepted the submission of the Automobile Association that the road at Anakiwa was winding in parts and that Queen Charlotte Dr speeds should be reduced to 50kmh from the bridge after the straight after the intersection with Cullensville Rd to where it became a 70kmh zone 1.5km from Havelock.

The changes were approved by the assets and services committee and need to be ratified by the full council, which meets on August 7. The new speed limits would become operational a month after that.

Marlborough Roads said the process for reviewing speed limits didn't make it easy to change them.

Unless there was a compelling argument to review speeds on a case-by-case basis, it recommended a speed review be considered every three years, with the next one to start in January 2017.

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- The Marlborough Express

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