Reduced speed limit could hit Waiheke Island roads

Lower speed limits would make island roads safer for all users, says Waiheke Local Board chairperson Paul Walden.

Lower speed limits would make island roads safer for all users, says Waiheke Local Board chairperson Paul Walden.

A 30 kilometre per hour speed limit could be imposed on Waiheke Island's residential roads, if Waiheke Local Board has its way.

At a meeting last Thursday, the local board asked Auckland Transport to reduce the speed limit on small, residential roads on Waiheke and on all roads on Rakino Island.

Local board chairperson Paul Walden said a policy change at New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) made it easier for Auckland Transport to change speed limits.

Speed limits that are too high for the island's narrow, winding roads have been a "bone of contention" that residents have been raising for many years, Walden said.

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No changes would be made to speed limits on main roads and secondary roads that feed into the primary routes, he said.

Board member Shirin Brown said slower speed limits were important because many island roads had no footpaths or cycling lanes.

"A lot of us don't feel comfortable riding a bike or walking on the road or letting our kids do that to get to school.

"If we all slow down, we can keep everyone safe," Brown said.

The call for a slower speed limit on the island's residential roads follows a campaign by Omiha Welfare and Recreation Society to drop the speed limit in Rocky Bay.

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Member Dave Malan said after three years calling for Auckland Transport to take action, the society had decided it would be quicker to try to effect change locally.

The society has been selling bumper stickers saying "Rocky Bay 30k/h".

Last week, Cycle Action Waiheke spokesman Tony King-Turner told the local board the Waiheke Transport Forum needs to be brought back to life.

The board asked Auckland Transport to support a new forum.

"The transport forum is where people with a  variety of skills can come together, discuss stuff and and come up with good solutions, not only for the roading network but for the environment," King-Turner said.

"That input has not been happening for several years and we desperately need it.

"We need to make sure the more vulnerable road users are kept safe - particularly school kids, but also commuters, visitors and locals."



 - Stuff

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