100kmh speed limits 'crazy'

Drivers like 'bats out of hell' on roads

Last updated 09:06 24/07/2014
Maori Experiences trivial pursuit
SCOTT HAMMOND/FAIRFAX NZ
SLOW DOWN: Issie Jordan at the corner where Fell St turns into Steam Wharf Rd in Grovetown. It is too sharp a turn to be done at 100kmh, she says.

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Keeping speed limits at 100kmh on roads from Grovetown to the Wairau River and the Blenheim Rowing Club is "a crazy decision", residents say.

The Marlborough District Council's assets and services committee approved a suite of speed limit changes in 37 areas in the district at its meeting this week, but it declined to reduce the length of Elliot St, Fell St, Tytlers St, and Steam Wharf Rd from 100kmh to 50kmh as requested by Grovetown resident Anthony Jordan.

Officials' advice was to reduce another 45 metres of Elliot St to 50kmh, but to keep the other roads at 100kmh because of their rural character. Jordan said yesterday he was disappointed with the decision. He and wife Issie Jordan planned to contact councillors and Marlborough mayor Alistair Sowman to talk about it before the full council meeting on August 7 where the speed limit changes would be ratified.

The couple live in Steam Wharf Rd and said they often heard tyre squeals as cars had difficulty making the turn at speed.

Issie Jordan said people came down Fell St "like bats out of hell, I'm surprised they haven't rolled".

The roads were not "open road going somewhere", but going down to the river, where they stopped. They were busy with traffic to the rowing club, particularly on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. There was a lot of foot traffic and cycling, with children running up the road. The Jordans were worried about speeding cars as they had young grandchildren who often stayed with them for long periods of time.

There were also trucks coming from the nearby piggery, which would not be able to stop in time if cars sped through the intersection.

Jordan said the road would become busier, as the wetland off Steam Wharf Rd was being upgraded and was to become a tourist attraction.

It was not practical to drive down Fell St at 100kmh, he said. But that did not deter many drivers who saw the 100kmh signs as a target to be reached, not a limit.

The district speed limit 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. The majority of the changes reduce speeds to 50kmh 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.

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- The Marlborough Express

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