Hastings District Council has announced its input into seven proposed road speed changes.
The review was instigated by residents concerned about road safety. "This has been very much driven by people asking Council to put a focus on road safety; particularly speed on our local roads," Hastings deputy mayor Tania Kerr said.
"It's also very timely that we have held the public hearings and reached recommendations during what is national Road Safety Week New Zealand."
The hearings committee considered the opinions and experiences of submitters, crash records, the impacts of changing or not changing a speed on nearby roads, increased development in the areas of the roads, and consistency (ie the number of speed changes along a road).
"We have carefully looked at a great deal of information; however, it is fair to say that safety has been our first priority. As well as that we have consulted with residents of the roads concerned and road users, including the general public and industry."
Farndon Rd was a good example, Kerr said.
"It has a significant crash record [22 crashes in five years, two fatal]; there are drains, power poles, overbridge, a narrow shoulder, and multiple driveways along the length of it. The road is mixed use – general traffic and many slow rural vehicles, and had a range of speeds limits along it. Farndon Rd also has new residential development."
The committee recommended that the proposed speed limit of 80km/h be adopted for the road (outside of the already sign-posted 50km/h in the built-up area).
Farndon's crash record has also seen it singled out for further improvements in Council's Road Safety Strategy, about to be considered as part of the Long Term Plan discussions.
Upgrades could include roadside barriers, road shoulder widening, and enhanced road safety signs.
York Rd was another site with a significant crash record: 13 crashes in five years including one fatal in the 100km/h area. The committee agreed that its speed should be reduced from 100km/h to 80km/h. It also features in the Road Safety Strategy.
The other recommendations accepted were: Arataki Rd (reduced 70km/h zone to 50km/h); Kirkwood Rd (reduce 70km/h zone to 50km/h); Percival Rd (reduce 70km/h zone to 50km/h); St George's Rd (reduce 100km/h zone to 80km/h).
The speed limit in Chatham Rd was also changed to 50km/h. However, the committee recommended that its road speed be reviewed again in future, through a process that would also look at speeds in two similar nearby roads: Wilson and Henderson.
If the amended bylaw is accepted by Council, it is envisaged that the new speed limits would come into effect on August 1.
As part of the process, members of the public named more roads they would like considered for speed review. Council would look at those over the next 12 to 24 months, Kerr said.
The recommendations will now be drafted into the speed bylaw and considered by full Council at its June 28 meeting.