Speed limit de­bated

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By KA­T­RINA LINTONBON

Bur­wood Rd res­i­dents turned out in force at a long-awaited meet­ing last week with Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tives and po­lice to dis­cuss a pos­si­ble speed limit re­duc­tion on a 450m section of Bur­wood Rd.

Even though the meet­ing was at times heated, there was one pri­mary con­cern shared by all par­ties in­volved – the safety of the peo­ple who use the road.

The Mata­mata Chron­i­cle was ap­proached by Bur­wood Rd res­i­dents in June this year. They wanted to see the cur­rent speed limit of 70kmh reduced to 50kmh be­tween Swap Park and Banks Rd.

Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil road­ing man­ager Su­sanne Kamp­shof said the coun­cil wanted to work with res­i­dents to come up with the best pos­si­ble so­lu­tions. At this stage the speed limit would not be reduced.

Works un­der­taken in 2010/2011 by the coun­cil to address the is­sue were speed thresh­old treat­ment and road mark­ing im­prove­ments.

Sug­ges­tions made by Mrs Kamp­shof fol­low­ing meet­ings with key stake­hold­ers in­cluded un­der­tak­ing fur­ther safety im­prove­ment works and es­tab­lish­ing pedes­trian is­lands at the re­de­vel­oped BMX track.

Se­nior Sergeant Rod Carpin­ter said he un­der­stood the con­cerns of res­i­dents and Mata­mata Po­lice would work hard to mon­i­tor the 450m section of Bur­wood Rd.

‘‘I thought this was go­ing to be an easy fix that would just re­quire the speed limit to be reduced, how­ever it isn’t,’’ he said.

Gor­don Feisst was very vo­cal about what he thought the coun­cil should be do­ing. He said the re­de­vel­op­ment of the BMX track was enough rea­son to re­duce the speed limit.

Fel­low res­i­dent Bar­bara Fal­coner said it was good to see lo­cal po­lice were con­cerned about the safety as­pects with speed and the large trucks. She said it ap­peared lu­di­crous to res­i­dents that the coun­cil, hav­ing set up a BMX track which they were hop­ing would be suit­able for in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions, had made no pro­vi­sion for off-road park­ing for any­one at­tend­ing the com­pe­ti­tions.

Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Don McLeod was very clear about what the coun­cil was plan­ning to do in­clud­ing at this stage not low­er­ing the speed limit. ‘‘Driv­ing is about the en­vi­ron­ment and the per­cep­tion of the driver. Putting up a 50kmh sign is not go­ing to deter mo­torists from speed­ing,’’ he said. ‘‘We came here to tell you that we are do­ing some­thing.’’

The is­sue will be re­vis­ited in the New Year.

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