More than 50 proposed changes to speed limits on Western Bay of Plenty roads are expected to have a "significant impact" on motorists if they go ahead.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council's Policy Committee met today to deliberate on a draft Speed Limits Bylaw 2020 following consultation with the community.
Report author and senior policy analyst Cheryl Steiner told elected members the report consisted of three elements: urban traffic areas that will now have a default speed limit of 50km/h in the final bylaw; the local road network which recommends lower speed limits for 50 roads; and introducing variable speed limits to areas outside Western Bay schools.
The council received 319 submissions about the proposed changes, the majority in support, Steiner said.
"Since 2015, the last time we made changes, there have been a number of community requests."
In July, the council voted in favour of moving forward to reduce speed limits on 35 roads and introducing variable speed limits outside seven schools.
But consultation held in August and September resulted in more roads being included in the report, and the number of roads with proposed changes ballooned to 47. They included three instances of multiple changes on the same road.
Mayor Garry Webber told the committee the changes were what the community wanted.
"The majority of road accidents were caused by alcohol, road speed and drugs," he said.
"What we are doing here will have a significant impact."
In the report, the NZ Automobile Association said it would like the council to consider different speeds for some roads than those proposed "as we feel this speed is more appropriate and would be more accepted by the public".
It asked the council to ensure the different speeds were not confusing for motorists.
The report also highlighted proposed changes the NZ Transport Agency disagreed on and recommended other speeds it felt were more appropriate.
But in the end, the committee voted to recommend the council include all 50 changes in the Speed Limits Bylaw 2020 and to recommend the council adopt the bylaw at its next meeting.
The proposal to reduce the speed from 100km/h to 80km/h on Oropi Rd, from Wood Rd to Oropi Village's 50km/h zone, created one of the biggest divides detailed in the report, with 75 respondents in support and 71 in disagreement.
Arguments centred on the safety of pedestrians and cyclists and the impact on current road users.
After the meeting, councillor Murray Grainger told the Bay of Plenty Times the reduced speed limit on Omokoroa Rd helped address safety concerns that had been raised by the local community.
Grainger, who is an Ōmokoroa ward representative, said the increasing urbanisation of the area had created its own safety risks in regards to the number of pedestrians, particularly children, in the area of the skate park.
"There are a lot of families in the Kaimai Views area with younger kids. At the moment the only way for them to get across to the railway line [bridge] is by running across the road.
"At the moment, the mums are making the dash across the road. People who want to talk to Western Ave or the supermarket have to get across that bridge."
Omokoroa Rd was also the only road in the district considered to be part of an urban zone, but it had a speed limit above 50km/h. The speed limit reduction brought this in line with the rest, Grainger said.
The new speed limits are expected to come into effect on March 29, depending on final sign-off from the council at its December 17 meeting.
Pending sign-off, variable speed limits will be brought in outside Katikati Primary School, Katikati College, Waihi Beach School, Oropi School, Maketū School, Paengaroa School and Te Puke Intermediate. A permanent speed limit of 60km/h will be established within 300m either side of Rangiuru School, Pongakawa School, Omokoroa No 1 School, Whakamarama School and Pukehina School.
The Western Bay of Plenty District Council decision came as submissions to Tauranga City Council proposed changes to speed limits closed on Friday.
The city council called for feedback to proposed reductions to the speed limits on 10 roads. These were: Ohauiti Rd, Welcome Bay Rd, Kaitemako Rd, Pyes Pa Rd, Oropi Rd, Parton Rd, Tara Rd, Domain Rd, Maranui St and Papamoa Beach Rd, and Totara St.
It also sought potential 40km/h variable speed locations outside Aquinas College, Tauranga Intermediate School, Matua Primary School, Golden Sands School and Taumata School.
The council did not respond when asked how many submissions there had been on the changes.
Where the proposed new speed limits will be:
• No 2 Rd - 50km/h from end of 50km/h zone to Dudley Vercoe Dr, 60km/h to current 100km/h mark on edge of urban limits.
• Manoeka Rd - 50km/h from Te Puke Quarry Rd up to address No 293.
• No 1 Rd - 50km/h from No 27 (current end of 50km/h) to end of curved section at 15m south of boundary between property No 78 and No 93.
• No 3 Rd - 50km/h to the existing 70/100 signs at No 106 south of Macloughlin Dr.
• Wilson Rd South - 50km/h from north of the railway overbridge to 135m north of No 156.
• Ford Rd - 60km/h from 750m north of Kaituna Rd to end of road.
• Arawa Rd - 40km/h and include Penelope Pl.
• Pah Rd - 80km/h for 800m from Te Puke Highway.
• Joyce Rd – 50km/h from Pyes Pa Rd to Harlow Pl then 80km/h for rest of Joyce Rd to SH36.
• Oropi Rd - 80km/h from Wood Rd to just south of Castles Rd.
• Oropi Rd - 50km/h from Oropi Village south to 25m south of No 1381.
• Omanawa Rd – 80km/h from SH29 to McLaren Falls Rd.
• Oropi Gorge Rd – 60km/h from 150m west of water tanks accessway to Oropi Rd.
• Anderley Ave – 40km/h from Omokoroa Rd to the end of Anderley Ave.
• Oikemoke Rd - 60km/h to the end of the road, and include Lochhead Rd, from Te Puna Rd to the end.
• Clarke Rd – 80km/h from SH2 to Te Puna Station Rd.
• Snodgrass Rd – 60km/h from 50m south of Borrell Rd to 1200m north of Borrell Rd.
• Newnham Rd – 60km/h from Snodgrass Rd to end of road.
• I'Anson Rd – 60km/h from Munro Rd to end of road.
• Munro Rd – 60km/h from SH2 to Te Puna Quarry Rd.
• Florence Lane – 60km/h from Minden Rd to end of road.
• Crawford Rd - 60km/h up to RP 4190m near Poripori Rd.
• Minden Rd – 60km/h from existing 80km/h sign to existing deregulation sign near lookout.
• Junction Rd – 60km/h from Minden Rd to Crawford Rd.
• Te Puna Station Rd – 60km/h from SH2 to 40m west of Clarke Rd, 80km/h from 40m west of Clarke Rd to Te Puna Rd.
• Poripori Rd – 80km/h from SH29 to Crawford Rd.
• Omokoroa Rd - 60km/h from Prole Rd to existing 80/60 change point near Kaimai Views roundabout. Reduce Esplanade to 30km/h.
• Seaforth Rd - No change from existing 50km/h sign near Albacore Ave, install 50km/h advanced warning signage.
• Seaforth Rd - 50km/h at RP 4950m to Pio Rd roundabout.
• Sharp Rd – 80km/h from SH2 to end of road.
• Tetley Rd - 60km/h from RP 1240m to Wills Rd.
• Rereatukahia Rd – 60km/h from Tetley Rd to end of maintained section.
• Rereatukahia Pa Rd – 40km/h from Rereatukahia Rd to end of maintained section.
• Lindemann Rd – 80km/h from SH2 to end of road.
• Wilson Rd, Waihi Beach - 40km/h from RP 690m (near The Crescent) to RP 1000m.
• Waihi Beach Rd – 80km/h from the district boundary to existing 50km/h zone.
• Beach Rd, Waihi Beach – Temporary 30km/h speed limit to be place during summer holiday period.
• Athenree Rd – 50km/h from 325m west of Koutunui Rd intersection to Koutunui Rd/Athenree Rd intersection.
• Opureora Rd – 60km/h from the Wharf to 55 Opureora Rd.