The speed limit on parts of State Highway 51 between Napier and Hastings are set to drop next month as part of efforts by Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency to improve safety along the coastal highway.
However, some claim the Waipatu community feels "let down" by the efforts, adding they don't go far enough.
From October 29, the speed limit between Clive (north of Farndon Rd) and Napier (south of the Marine Pde intersection) will be reduced from 100 km/h to 80 km/h.
The speed limit through the Clive township's southern end near Mill Rd will be reduced from 70 and 80 km/h to 60 km/h.
The speed limit between Waipatu and Hastings, from 100m north-east of St Georges Road to 350m south-west of Elwood Road, will also drop from 70 km/h to 60 km/h.
Waka Kotahi NZTA director of regional relationships Linda Stewart said the changes were made following community consultation earlier this year amidst calls for speeds to be lowered on the road as it has a "high crash risk".
"The region is growing fast and this road is one of the busiest in the area.
"People use it to get to work, school or the marae, to visit family or friends, or to go to the supermarket."
Stewart said the new speed limits were the "safe and appropriate speeds" for this road and in line with speeds that people currently travel at on the road.
However, Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the Waipatu community had been "let down" by the agency not reducing the speed limit to 50 km/h and applying to a longer stretch of road, as they wanted.
"We can accept 60km/hr but what the community really wanted to see was the extension of a reduced speed limit through to Te Ara Kahikatea Drive.
"We want people to be able to walk and cycle safely and this is something the Government also says it wants – the decision not to extend the speed limit reduction seems nonsensical."
She said it raised concerns about the approach to other speed limit reviews on SH5 Napier-Taupō Rd and this decision did not give her confidence the government would listen to the community.
Tukituki MP Anna Lorck, herself a Waipatu resident, said the decision to ignore locals' plea to extend a lower speed limit was "short-sighted".
"My family is part of the Waipatu community and we've heard the screeching of breaks from near-accidents along with the horrific sound of impact when cars do collide on this very busy section of road.
She pointed to significant new papakainga development and a planned Kura to be built nearby as reasons for the speed limit to be lowered, making it safer for children to walk and bike to school.
Stewart said decisions on what the safer new speed limits will be were based on the technical assessment of the road.
A proposal to reduce the speed limit on SH51 between St Georges Road and Ruahapia or extend the 60km/h section from Kenilworth Road further to include the Bay Espresso, was not put forward due to the SH51 Waipatu Marae safety improvement project, she explained.
"This project is changing the road layout along this section of road, with widening and a flush median being installed.
"These safety improvements will enable safer turning and vehicle separation through this area."
The consultation for the SH51 speed limit review was combined with the consultation and engagement of the SH5 speed review - for which a decision has yet to be announced and is only expected at the end of this year.
Waka Kotahi received a total of 455 individual submissions on SH51 speed limits during the consultation period - 192 of which were general comments applicable to both SH51 and SH5.