Horowhenua District Council intends to a review speed limits on rural roads in Horowhenua, and wants your input.

Roading services manager Kevin Peel said council wanted to gauge the community's views about safe and appropriate speed limits for the conditions and driving environments on rural roads.

"Nationally, due to the increase in numbers of deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand's roads, there is a growing demand for safer speeds," he said.

"Council's aim is to enhance the safety of the district's road network by establishing consistent and credible speed zones that accurately reflect the safety risk to road users while minimising frequent speed limit changes to avoid driver confusion."

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The review follows the Government's Safer Journeys Action Plan, which aims to reduce the number and severity of crashes on New Zealand roads, and the NZ Transport Agency's (NZTA) 2016 Speed Management Guide and Risk Assessment Tool, which sets the criteria for determining and implementing speed limits.

Mr Peel said NZTA's 2016 guide reflects changes in the way speed limits are set following the adoption of the Government's Land Transport Rule 'Setting of Speed Limits 2017' as part of the Safer Journeys Strategy.

"Under the old rules, all rural roads had a 100km/h speed limit unless certain stringent criteria could be met for allowing the speed to be lowered. However, this approach led to some cases of inconsistent and inappropriate speed limits that were unsafe for the road environment and conditions.

Rural roads are used by a wide variety of users: from cars, to tractors, livestock and horse riders as well as walkers and cyclists.
Rural roads are used by a wide variety of users: from cars, to tractors, livestock and horse riders as well as walkers and cyclists.

"The new approach aims to create national consistency of speed limits in areas with similar roads, taking into account factors such as roadside hazards, development, traffic and alignment," he said.

The survey closes at 4pm on Friday, February 1. The results will help inform proposed changes to the speed limits schedule in the Land Transport Bylaw 2017. A more formal public consultation period where you can make a submission on the proposed changes begins in February.

You can take part in the survey online on the Have Your Say page of council's website, www.horowhenua.govt.nz/SpeedLimitReview-Rural Roads, or by visiting council's customer service centres at its main office in Oxford St or Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō in Levin, Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom in Foxton or the Shannon Library.