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Engagement starts for Horowhenua Rural Speed Limit Review

Following an initial online survey of community views, Horowhenua District Council is now inviting written submissions on the proposal to reduce speed limits on rural roads.

Roading Services Manager Kevin Peel said rural areas are being looked at first as part of a district-wide speed limit review to ensure the district’s roads have appropriate speed limits and operate efficiently.

More than 90 per cent of the 740 survey respondents were Horowhenua residents, of which 64 per cent indicated they live rurally, and 36 per cent urban.

“The majority of responses supported reductions from 100kmh to at least 80kmh, and in many cases to 60kmh,” said Mr Peel.

The Horowhenua District Council Land Transport Bylaw enables Council to alter existing speed limits, by resolution publicly notified, on its district roads. This is to ensure the suitability of speed limits against changes in safety and/or land development and land use patterns.

Changes to the law in 2017 required that all road controlling authorities adhere to New Zealand Transport Agency’s (NZTA) ‘Speed Management Guide’ for the setting of speed limits. In June 2018, the New Zealand Government released their policy statement for land transport. This policy statement aims to reduce road trauma on New Zealand roads, not only by investing in safety improvements to roads and roadsides, but also by ensuring safe and appropriate travel speeds.

In response to the above, and due to development and changing land use in rural zones, Council has completed a review of speed limits for all rural roads in the district using NZTA’s risk assessment tool which assesses those roads against the criteria in NZTA’s ‘Speed Management Guide’.

The proposal, as a result of the review, is to lower speed limits on rural and rural residential roads to achieve speed limits that reflect safety risk and the road environment, including land development and the function of the road. The aim of the proposed changes is to make rural and rural residential roads safer for all road users.

Mr Peel said “The recommendation for lower speed limits is now being put out for engagement to key stakeholders, local communities and the general public. Anyone can make a submission about the proposed speed limit changes, including those who have already taken part in the online survey.”

To take part in the engagement please visit Council’s ‘Have your say’ page at www.horowhenua.govt.nz/HaveYourSay, or pick up a submission form from Council’s customer service centres at its Main Office or Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō in Levin, Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom in Foxton, or the Shannon Library.

The submission period opens Friday 15 February and closes at 5pm on Friday 15 March 2019.

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