The Whanganui District Council has vowed to keep pursuing the NZ Transport Agency for a speed limit change on State Highway 3 near the city boundary.

Great North Rd resident Graham Lillington, who started a petition to change the speed limit, handed over the document to the council at its monthly meeting on Tuesday.

The petition aims to have a 50km/h speed limit extended to just north of Pickwick Rd and the 70km/h limit moved closer to Rapanui Rd.

Of the 82 who responded to the petition, 80 households were in favour of lowering the speed limit while two wanted it to stay the same.

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Lillington told the meeting one concern for residents was that it seemed like no progress was being made towards the proposed change.

Council chief executive Kym Fell said a letter from the NZTA last week indicated a "safe networks programme" will occur on the stretch of road sometime between this June and the first half of next year.

"There will be a full assessment as to whether or not the speed rating is warranted to be reduced in that area, and then a report will come back from NZTA," Fell said.

Mayor Hamish McDouall said the council had been lobbying with NZTA officials at every opportunity.

"Without wanting to speak for everyone here, the general mood is that the speed is too fast along that area," McDouall told the meeting.

"NZTA seems to have different time frames to everyone else, and you can see that from just about everything they do.

"All we can do is keep prodding them as we have for State Highway 4," McDouall said.

Lillington told councillors one suggestion from a petition respondent was to make the action as a tribute to late councillor Ray Stevens.

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Said McDouall: "In terms of pursuing it with councillor Stevens' spirit on our shoulder, we'll certainly be doing that while we're trying to achieve a goal to reduce the speed there."