Speed limit debated
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.