Colac Bay residents want lower speed limit

19:54, Mar 18 2013

Colac Bay residents concerned children are at risk when walking across the foreshore road want the NZ Transport Agency to lower the speed limit on the street.

Colac Bay Community Development Subcommittee chairwoman Rowena Tomlin said the subcommittee had been trying to get the speed limit reduced from 70kmh to 50kmh.

The beach, 12km west of Riverton, was popular with families and surfers and children often crossed or walked down the street, sometimes without paying attention to their surroundings, she said.

"Little kids do not look - they just run straight onto the road. You've got to be very careful."

The limit had been reduced to 50kmh for about six weeks during the busy holiday season but reverted back to 70km in early February.

Despite a difference in driver behaviour during the temporary reduction, Ms Tomlin said the subcommittee had been told the NZ Transport Agency would not reduce the speed permanently because there was not enough traffic on the road.


Not everyone obeyed the speed signs on the road but lowering the limit to 50kmh would still slow drivers enough to make a difference, she said.

"Then they might go along at 60 instead of 80 or 90."

Colac Foreshore Rd residents supported the change, and she hoped if the community voiced their concerns the limit could be lowered permanently.

Southland District Council area manager Greg Erskine said council roading staff were re-examining the speed limit of Colac Foreshore Rd, along with the limits of several other roads in Southland.

However, NZTA was unwilling to reduce the Colac Foreshore Rd limit permanently because the road was only busy for a few weeks at Christmas. The NZTA preferred to lower limits only on roads which experienced increased traffic more than eight months each year, he said.

The Southland Times