New speed limit yet to be decided

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 20:42 14/02/2013

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Marlborough Roads had yet to decide how much the traffic speed on State Highway 1 north of Blenheim would be reduced, general manager Frank Porter said yesterday.

The Marlborough Express reported on Tuesday that the speed would be reduced to 70kmh. However, Mr Porter said there were three options being considered - 70kmh, 80kmh, or 90kmh.

"We're reviewing that at this stage, so no particular speed has been decided. I was very careful not to say a speed."

Mr Porter said there was "unilateral" support from Grovetown residents for speed-limit reduction on the state highway.

A brochure outlining potential changes to speed and intersections on the stretch of highway from the Grove Rd bridge to Spring Creek was distributed to residents in the area last month, and feedback collected until last week.

Marlborough Roads was collating all that information, Mr Porter said, and it was clear that a speed reduction was supported.

What speed it would become was yet to be decided, but it was more likely to be 80kmh or 90kmh, he said.

There was a formal process to to implement the change, which included consultation with the Automobile Association, Road Transport Association, police and Marlborough District Council.

Grovetown resident Dave Knight, who spoke to the Marlborough Express in November about his and other Grovetown residents' concerns about the roads in their neighbourhood, said yesterday that "in the interim" slowing the speed on the state highway would help.

"It's better than nothing."

Mr Knight said the proposed changes would not affect Ross and Knights lanes, where he lived, and their intersection with the railway line and the state highway.

"What we need is a bypass, get rid of that old [Opawa River] bridge and go past Riverlands to the highway."

Marlborough residents were aware of the issues with that part of the state highway, he said. But visitors from the North Island or further afield did not, so when someone slowed to turn on to one of the intersecting roads in the area, they did not know to slow down and crashes occurred.

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- The Marlborough Express

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