A Pirongia resident is on a mission to slash the village speed limit to 40km/h.

Susan Trodden supports Waipā District Council's overhaul of speed limits but says the changes don't go far enough.

Council has proposed over 200 changes to speed limits in Waipā.

Waipā District Council road corridor manager Bryan Hudson. Photo / Bethany Rolston
Waipā District Council road corridor manager Bryan Hudson. Photo / Bethany Rolston

They include 40 km/h areas in Te Awamutu and Cambridge town centres, 50 and 60km/h zones in urban areas, 60 and 80km/h zones in rural areas and lower speeds near schools.


Council is proposing all Pirongia streets will be 50km/hr under the new bylaw.

But Susan, who is the chairperson of tourism organisation Explore Pirongia, says the village should be 40km/h, especially Kane St, which is currently 50km/h.

"How someone hasn't been killed on Kane St is just unbelievable," Susan says.

"During the rugby season there are hundreds of cars parked on the street, and people speed down it."

Susan says there is confusion in the village around speed limits.

"At the moment we have lots of variances and people don't know — or choose not to know — where the 50 km/h and 70 km/h zones begin and end.

"One clear speed would make all the difference."

Susan says she supports council's efforts to drop speed limits.


"Overall, we're really happy with the council's commitment to reducing speed limits, particularly in the middle of the village.

"But I don't think it goes far enough. We think there's opportunity to do more.

"The ideal for me, would be that the entire village — from boundary to boundary — was a 40km/h zone."

Waipā District Council welcomes Susan's idea.

Road corridor manager Bryan Hudson says the suggestion will be considered.

"We're definitely open to lowering the speed further in Pirongia but would look to do this alongside other speed calming measures like pedestrian crossings.

"The proposed changes are targeting our highest risk roads in the district, including 10 roads in Pirongia where the current speed is too high for the volume of traffic and amount of housing."

The changes are the first steps in a three-year programme looking at speeds across the district.

Susan also wants SH39 through Pirongia to be lowered to 40km/h.

The speed currently ranges from 50km/h to 70km/h, turning to 100km/h at the edge of the village.

"I don't know the practicalities of that, but it would certainly be my ideal," she says.

However, the council cannot change the speed limits on SH39 as it is managed by NZ Transport Agency (NZTA).

NZTA system design acting senior manager Kevin Reid says the agency is taking steps to address the issue of speed limits through the Safe Network Programme.

"The Safe Network Programme aims to save up to 160 deaths and serious injuries every year by making New Zealand's highest risk local roads and state highways safer," Kevin says.

"The programme will focus on safe roads and roadsides, safe level crossings and safe and appropriate speeds."

Kevin says Waikato is one of the priority regions for the Safe Network Programme.

"We are working closely with Waipā District Council to develop a plan for the roads in the area where we will review speed limits, which will include SH39.

"The majority of SH39 is in the top 10 per cent of roads in the country that will result in the greatest reduction in death and serious injury through speed management.

"Local knowledge and experience of using the roads is very useful information and we value feedback from residents about the speed limit changes they would like to see," Kevin says.

The public will have their chance to provide feedback on any proposed speed limit changes during consultation on SH39 and other roads in the area.

The speed review for the Waikato region is programmed to be undertaken in the 2019/2020 financial year.

Waipā residents are urged to share their views on council's proposed changes.

Council is using an interactive online map tool to help make it easier for people to have their say.

Hard-copy submission forms are also available at council offices and libraries.

Submissions must be received by 5pm on Friday, March 8.

Make a submission at www.waipadc.govt.nz/our-council/Haveyoursay