The Rotorua public will get the chance to voice their opinions on whether speed limits on 21 roads in the district should change.

Yesterday at the Rotorua Lakes Council strategy, policy and finance committee meeting councillors voted to put proposed changes out for public consultation, noting some of the roads reviewed had a reputation for being dangerous.

Speed reductions averaged from 10km/h - up to 40km/h on Western Rd and Waiotapu Loop Rd.

The council conducts speed limit reviews about every three years.


Speed limit reductions are proposed for all or parts of: Manawahe Rd, Pongakawa Valley Rd, Western Rd, Brake Rd, Oakland Pl, Pioneer Rd, Mohi Cres, Tarawera Rd, Spencer Rd, Brunswick Drive (including side roads), Okareka Loop Rd, Millar Rd, Waiotapu Loop Rd, road to wastewater treatment plant, Vaughan Rd, Owhata Rd, Hamurana Rd, Kaska Rd, Turner Rd, Te Waerenga Rd and Paradise Valley, Endean, Te Miri and Te Mana Rds.

Council infrastructure manager Stavros Michael said the most important consideration was risk reduction and perceptions of safety.

The proposed speed limits had been assessed under the new Land Transport "Setting of Speed Limits 2017".

Councillor Charles Sturt fully supported speed limit reductions especially around schools and main arterial routes particularly approaching traffic lights.

''We have been getting a lot of red-light runners going lately. But some of the issues particularly in residential areas like Ngongotaha, Western Rd and some of the rural areas need to become consistent.''

He was not concerned about possible congestion due to lowering speed limits within the city.

''I don't think so because the example is in Fenton St we reduced it down from 60kmh to 50kmh and with it being four-laned it wasn't a problem and the same in Lake Rd. I don't think it will be gridlocked.''

The current proposals had come directly from the community, he said.

Councillor Tania Tapsell said she felt strongly about council consultation with the community over lower speed limits on some roads.

''At the end of the day the residents and our families' safety is of utmost importance. I think it goes back to what Auckland is doing and working on 'spread the jam'.

''If we all travel at a consistent speed and not speeding then braking it does result in smoother traffic flows.''

Rotorua Rural Community Board chairwoman Shirley Trumper said it had been working with NZTA for a long time to reduce the speed limit on the Waiotapu corridor which would hopefully start on the Waiotapu Loop Rd.

''The community can't wait ... and I am a champion for reducing speed.''

But she said at the other end of the scale motorists were not adhering to the 50km/h speed limit in Reporoa Village which was disappointing.

''They are not taking notice so we are trying to work out measures because it goes past a rural primary school and businesses, so we need to slow them down.''

Rotorua Lakes Community Board chairman Phill Thomass said a lot of the proposed changes were in the Lakes Community Board area and had been driven by those communities over the past three years.

''If you think of the roads out to Lake Tarawera they are very windy narrow roads so in actual fact 100km/h speed limit isn't really attainable. The reduction is recognising that fact ... those roads are not state highways but side, gravel and residential roads.''