Elderly residents living in Horowhenua's fastest growing suburb want the speed limit outside their front gate slashed.

A group representing residents of the Speldhurst Country Estate have asked New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to lower the speed limit on Kimberley Rd south of Levin from 100km to 70km.

Waka Kotahi NZTA staff met members of the Speldhurst Residents Committee this week as part of consultation drive to encourage community feedback.

NZTA held community meetings this week at Speldhurst, Koputaroa Hall, Shannon Memorial Hall and Te Takere in Levin as part of its planning process.

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Sprouting up from the old Kimberley Hospital five years ago, Speldhurst now had 180 occupied houses, was home to an estimated 300 residents, and also now had a popular cafe and restaurant open to the public.

Committee secretary Neville Turnbull said Speldhurst was still growing and there could one day be as many 600 homes and an apartment block on a site that had just two access points for incoming traffic.

Neville Turnbull.
Neville Turnbull.

Turnbull said there could be as many as 1000 permanent residents at Speldhurst in the near future and, coupled with visitors and patrons to the cafe, the amount of traffic was only going to increase.

He estimated the average age of Speldhurst residents was "mid-70s" and there had been "a dozen" near misses at the main entrance to the estate in the last year.

He said it was difficult to safely negotiate the entrance to Spelhurst and called for a range of improvements in addition to the speed reduction to 70km.

Turnbull said the committee was asking for a 1m wide centre strip along Kimberley Rd and a designated lane for cars coming from the east to pull into before entering Speldhurst.

He said anyone turning into the main entrance to the estate was often passed by a car on their right, just as they were about to turn right.

They had also asked NZTA for safety fencing of a major drain outside the estate, speed camera signs, a stop sign for both entrances and better street lighting at the main entrance.

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The entrance to Speldhurst Country Estate on Kimberley Road, south of Levin.
The entrance to Speldhurst Country Estate on Kimberley Road, south of Levin.

"We will be challenging them at every opportunity. It's all in the interests of safety," Turnbull said.

Kimberley Rd was a link between State Highways 1 and 57, providing motorists with an alternative route to bypass Levin.