Call for 80kmh speed limit for some rural Selwyn roads

Maddisons Rd between Rolleston and Templeton could become an 80kmh road if the Selwyn District Council agrees to pleas ...
HELENA O'NEILL/FAIRFAX NZ

Maddisons Rd between Rolleston and Templeton could become an 80kmh road if the Selwyn District Council agrees to pleas made by local residents' groups.

Speed limits on some rural Selwyn roads should be dropped to 80 kilometres an hour to help keep motorists safe, residents' associations say. 

Weedons Residents' Association chairman John McKim aired concerns around several rural Selwyn roads – including Maddisons Rd – at the Selwyn District Council's meeting on April 12.

One of the main concerns was the deteriorating condition of rural roads such as Maddisons, which were never designed to carry the amount of traffic they do now. Increased traffic down these country roads which featured many intersections increased the likelihood of serious crashes, he said.

One of Dan Harker's solar-powered stop-sign warning sign, on Maddisons Rd at the intersection with Weedons Ross Rd.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/FAIRFAX NZ

One of Dan Harker's solar-powered stop-sign warning sign, on Maddisons Rd at the intersection with Weedons Ross Rd.

"Sooner or later there will be a fatal accident."

McKim said reducing speed on those roads between Rolleston and Templeton should slow the rate of damage to the roads while also making journeys safer for drivers.

"The association's quick fix is to reduce the speed to 80kmh. If it's policed heavily to begin with, the word will get through."

Cr Mark Alexander asked McKim if the speed limit on Newtons Rd and Jones Rd should also be reduced if Maddisons dropped to 80kmh.

McKim said traffic travelled along Jones Rd at high speeds despite the narrow width and increasing numbers of heavy vehicles, and the Curraghs Rd/Newtons Rd junction was an intersection of particular concern. 

Cr Jeff Bland said he and fellow Selwyn councillor Malcolm Lyall attended last month's traffic meeting held by the Templeton Residents' Association.

"I think the general feeling of residents in the Weedons/West Melton area is that there needs to be a reduction in speed.

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"If we just save one life then it's worth it."

He said the Selwyn District Council's decision to create an 80kmh zone in a high risk crash area near Prebbleton two years ago was a good step forward in creating safer journeys for motorists.

Bland, who is a former policeman, said it was the role of police to enforce the law, but up to engineers when it came to roading itself.

When contacted by Stuff John Hobson, chairman of the Templeton Residents' Association said the group held a public meeting last month to air concerns about the roads surrounding Templeton which fall in both Selwyn and Christchurch City boundaries.

Hobson said the main roads of concern were Maddisons, Curraghs, Dawsons, Jones, Waterholes, Robinson and Kirk Rds, and advocated that they be changed from 100kmh to an 80kmh limit.

"I'd also love to see more of those advanced warning signs for stop signs."

Dan's Advanced Warning Signs, were developed by Canterbury police officer Sergeant Dan Harker, and are being trialled until October 2017. The signs, which were placed at four intersections around Selwyn, operate using solar-powered flashing LED lights and vehicle detection sensors.

The association was forming a sub-committee solely to tackle traffic issues, and hoped to work closely with both the Selwyn District Council and the Christchurch City Council, Hobson said.

Selwyn District Council asset manager Murray Washington said a speed bylaw review was underway, with a draft proposal to be considered by council before the consultation with police, New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), AA and local community organisations.

"Once that consultation is complete, we would expect that council would formally consider amendments to our bylaw. This would be likely to be in the third quarter of this year."

Washington said that one of the options council was likely to consider is a blanket 80kmh speed restrictions on roads adjacent and parallel to State Highway 1 in the Rolleston-Templeton corridor. There will be also review of transition zones at entrances to townships in light of the growth and spread of residential areas.

 - Stuff

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