Group wants changes to slow speedsters

Not enough warning for motorists

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 15:58 14/02/2014
Southland Times photo
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ

Bluff 2024 Rejuvenation Trust chairman Steve Mitchell stands in front of the speed sign outside Bluff.

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They speed, slam on their brakes to slow down but continue driving at more than 50kmh through town, and community leaders want it to stop.

Those driving into Bluff are greeted by a 50kmh sign outside Fowlers Oysters on State Highway 1, but Steve Mitchell, chairman of the Bluff 2024 Rejuvenation Trust, says the sign should be located further north.

The current sign is so close to town that people do not have the chance to slow down before hitting the urban area, he said.

The group, supported by the Bluff Community Board, would like to see the sign moved further back to beside the old Ocean Beach meatworks.

Alternatively, the group wants the speed limit reduced to 70 kmh before motorists reach the 50kmh sign.

The rejuvenation trust, which has "adopted" the stretch of highway from Ocean Beach to the 50kmh sign, considered the entry to Bluff, hope to convince NZ Transport Agency to reduce the speed of motorists before they hit the town.

Bluff Community Board chairman Raymond Fife said the board echoed Mr Mitchell's sentiment.

He was concerned that, with the high volumes of traffic, there was not enough warning for people to slow down coming into town.

Invercargill City Council roading manager Russell Pearson said the council had been liaising with the government organisation and the board, but the decision was out of the council's hands.

He said at the board meeting on Monday night that it looked unlikely that the transport agency would change the speed or where the sign was positioned.

The agency's Southland area manager, Peter Robinson, said the organisation had been approached by the board but the area did not meet the criteria.

"The speed limit warrant for this site doesn't satisfy the criteria for a speed limit of under 100kmh, with the highway on the Invercargill side of the 50kmh speed zone effectively rural. However, in discussion with the Invercargill City Council, we are installing an advance 50kmh pre- warning sign about 150 metres before vehicles reach the existing 50kmh speed limit sign, which should give drivers more time to slow down."

But Constable Peter Jenkins, of Bluff, said there had been "a few issues" with the area.

"They are trying to speed up as they are coming from Bluff and some coming into Bluff seem to slow down too late. We are keeping an eye on it."

 

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