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Rotorua residents to get say on reduced speed limit proposal

Rotorua residents to get say on reduced speed limit proposals

Rotorua residents will get to have their say on a range of reduced speed limits being proposed by Rotorua District Council for a number urban and rural roads.

At a meeting this morning [April 16] of the council’s Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee the council agreed to consult with residents and other agencies on proposals to reduce speed limits on six roads across the district.

The roads where speed limit reductions are being proposed are:

· Hamurama Road: from 100kph to 80 kph (200m west of Kaska Rd to 100m east of Waerenga Rd)

· Otamarae Road: from 100kph to 50 kph (Maniatutu Rd – 1060m south of Vercoe Rd)

· Wharenui Road: from 100kph to 50 kph (to end of Porikapa Rd)

· Tarawera Road: from 70kph to 50kph (from Te Ngae Rd roundabout to just past Lynmore Ave)

· Tarawera Road: from 100kph to 50kph (Blue Lake - past DOC entrance to just past Okareka Loop Rd)

· Fenton Street: from 60kph to 50kph

Council Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee chair and People Strategy lead, Councillor Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, said the proposals all related to areas where traffic speed had been identified as a concern in terms of community safety.

"We've listened to those concerns and our roading engineers have done a lot of work investigating all the options, including holding discussions with NZTA officials.

"In setting speed limits we have to take into account things like the amount of development along a road, traffic volumes, actual speeds, pedestrians, cyclists, visibility and intersections - while balancing optimum traffic flows with road safety requirements.

"We also have to carefully consider the practicalities of policing speed limits and, most importantly, before we finalise anything we need to consult with our community, NZ Police, the Automobile Association and NZ Transport Agency.”

The council has a statutory role to set speed limits on roads under its jurisdiction; however changing a speed limit isn't a simple process and requires a legal bylaw change.

Councils can only make changes if they meet the criteria set at national level and are required to comply with the NZ Transport Agency's Speed Limit Setting Rule.

Mrs Raukawa-Tait said she expected particular interest in the proposal to cut the existing 60kph limit on Fenton Street down to 50kph, something which has been advocated by the Rotorua Association of Motels.

"The reality is that actual speeds have been successfully reduced along Fenton Street since a number of roundabouts were installed as crash reduction measures. So the new 50kph speed limit would come into line with actual existing speed practice and wouldn't mean much change for most motorists.”

The public consultation programme on proposals to reduce speed limits on the six roads is expected to take place during May or June this year.

[ENDS]

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