Residents who launched a petition and erected warning signs after a spate of crashes on their roads say their concerns have finally been heard in a proposal to lower Western Bay of Plenty speed limits.
This week, Western Bay of Plenty District Council voted on a proposal to reduce speed limits on 35 local roads and introduce new variable speed limits outside seven schools.
The move comes 10 months after the Te Puna community living on Minden Rd and Florence Lane petitioned the council to change the speed limit from 80km/h to 50km/h and erected roadside signs pleading for drivers to slow down.
Minden Rd and Florence Lane are now among the roads identified in a speed limit review due for public consultation.
Florence Lane resident Jo Cameron said the proposed reduction was great as the community was fed up with speeding drivers crashing through their properties.
"We are just really lucky there has not been any more crashes lately. As soon as it got dark and wet, we were expecting the crashes to start up again," Cameron said.
Cameron said there had still been people crashing off the side of the road and damaging road markers but not through people's properties like before. She believed a lower speed limit would help.
The roads in the review were brought to the attention of the council through requests from members of the community, community boards and submissions.
However, not everyone was supportive of all the proposed speed reductions.
During Tuesday's meeting, councillor Mark Dean raised concerns about the potential for the Oropi Rd speed limit to be lowered from 100km/h to 80km/h.
"I'm concerned this hasn't been thought out enough. Oropi Rd is virtually the main feeder road and in the event it will go to 80km/h, if it does, people will use [other roads] as a rat run to bypass the majority of the 80km/h area."
Councillor Murray Grainger also raised issues, saying he would like to see Omokoroa Rd's existing 60km/h speed limit reduced to 50km/h.
"You've got more homes around there now, more kids walking around. It makes sense."
Councillor John Scrimgeour said it was important to get moving with seeking feedback on the proposed changes.
"Some of these people have been waiting for some time to have these roads looked at and actioned."
Scrimgeour said whether people followed speed limits was not something the council could control "but it's important we set that environment".
The last comprehensive review of speed limits was in 2012, with some changes made up until 2015.
Report author, policy and planning manager Emily Watton, said it was important to note while the council could establish speed limits on a road, "it's another matter whether people travel to that speed limit".
The proposal also identified seven schools where variable speed limits of 40km/h could be installed. They are; Katikati Primary School, Katikati College, Waihi Beach School, Oropi School, Maketu School, Paengaroa School and Te Puke Intermediate.
In addition to the proposed variable limits, the council was also installing advisory active warning signs at Rangiuru School, Pongakawa School, Ōmokoroa No. 1 School, Whakamarama School and Pukehina School.
People can have their say from Monday on the proposals via the council's website and through its library and community service centres.
Feedback closes September 4, 4pm.
The roads subject to reduced speed limits are:
Katikati and Waihi Beach
Seaforth Rd; Sharp Rd; Tetley Rd; Rereatukaia Rd; Reretukahia Pa Rd; Lindermann Rd; Wilson Rd Waihi Beach; Waihi Beach Rd; Beach Rd Waihi Beach
Kaimai and Oropi
Joyce Rd; Oropi Rd; Omanawa Rd; Oropi Gorge Rd; Anderley Ave; Oikimoke Rd; Clarke Rd; Snodgrass Rd; Newnham Rd; I'Anson Rd; Munro Rd; Florence Lane; Crawford Rd; Minden Rd; Junction Rd; Te Puna Station Rd; Opureora Rd; Poripori Rd
Te Puke and Maketu
No. 2 Rd/Boucher Ave; Manoeka Rd; No. 1 Rd; No. 3 Rd; Wilson Rd South; Ford Rd; Arawa Rd; Pah Rd