Speed drop for Christ­mas on the way

Nelson Mail - - News - Cherie Sivi­gnon cherie.sivi­gnon@stuff.co.nz

The speed limit along a deadly stretch of State High­way 60 near Rich­mond is on track to be low­ered to 80kmh in time for Christ­mas.

Tas­man Dis­trict Coun­cil plans to lower the speed limit on sev­eral of its roads around the high­way at the same time as the NZ Trans­port Agency (NZTA) for­malises the pro­posed change for SH60 be­tween Maisey and McShane roads.

The in­creas­ingly busy sec­tion of the high­way has been the site of mul­ti­ple fa­tal and se­ri­ous crashes in re­cent years.

As well as be­ing a key com­muter route for Nel­son city and Tas­man dis­trict res­i­dents, many vis­i­tors travel along it to reach pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tions such as Kai­teri­teri, Abel Tas­man Na­tional Park and Golden Bay.

The planned change to the speed limit on that sec­tion of high­way will make the en­tire stretch be­tween Three Broth­ers Cor­ner at Rich­mond and the Maisey Rd in­ter­sec­tion an 80kmh zone.

Coun­cil trans­porta­tion man­ager Jamie McPher­son on Thurs­day out­lined for coun­cil­lors an early De­cem­ber tar­get date for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the changes, based on dis­cus­sions with NZTA.

‘‘We agreed that a likely date, if both ap­proval pro­cesses run to plan, is the 10th of De­cem­ber, so that would be the tar­get date,’’ McPher­son said.

The new 80kmh stretch was to be­gin on ‘‘the Motueka side of the Maisey Rd in­ter­sec­tion’’, he said, which meant the change from a 100kmh zone to an 80kmh limit would be on a rise.

McPher­son said he be­lieved NZTA had or­dered some driver elec­tronic speed feed­back signs. While he was not sure of the planned lo­ca­tion for the signs, ‘‘cer­tainly, that ap­proach to­wards Maisey Rd as you come from 100kmh into 80kmh would be a log­i­cal place for it’’.

Coun­cil­lors agreed to ap­prove amend­ments to the coun­cil Speed Lim­its By­law 2016, which means the 100kmh sec­tion of Lower Queen St along with Lans­downe Rd, Best Is­land Rd, Black­byre Rd, Red­wood Rd, Re­search Or­chard Rd and Pukeko Lane will drop to 80kmh, while Bar­nett Ave and River Rd will be low­ered to 60kmh.

It comes af­ter 222 sub­mis­sions were re­ceived on the pro­posed changes fol­low­ing a joint coun­cil-NZTA pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion. Most of the sub­mit­ters sup­ported lower speed lim­its.

Cr Stu­art Bryant, who was chair­man of a hear­ing panel that also heard from 10 oral sub­mit­ters, said lower speed lim­its wouldn’t be a ‘‘cure-all’’.

‘‘But it will cer­tainly help . . . it will be one con­tribut­ing fac­tor to low­er­ing deaths on that sec­tion of road and the roads around it,’’ Bryant said.

Cr Dean McNa­mara asked about other areas of the dis­trict where res­i­dents wanted speed lim­its re­duced on coun­cil roads.

McPher­son said the coun­cil was ask­ing for feed­back from the com­mu­nity ‘‘on where they would like to see speed limit changes’’.

‘‘We’re de­vel­op­ing a long list at the mo­ment,’’ he said. ‘‘That long list will be . . . con­sid­ered to de­velop a short list, and that’s go­ing to be early next year.’’

The coun­cil would then look at con­sult­ing on some of those changes, ‘‘and we’ve talked about some of them – Dovedale, Nga­ti­moti – and there are a num­ber of oth­ers that also need to be con­sid­ered that are just as wor­thy’’, McPher­son said.

‘‘It will be one con­tribut­ing fac­tor to low­er­ing deaths on that sec­tion of road and the roads around it.’’

Stu­art Bryant,

Tas­man dis­trict coun­cil­lor

BRADEN FASTIER/STUFF

The stretch of State High­way 60 be­tween Three Broth­ers Cor­ner at Rich­mond and the Maisey Rd in­ter­sec­tion has been the site of mul­ti­ple fa­tal and se­ri­ous crashes in re­cent years, in­clud­ing this three-ve­hi­cle crash in Jan­uary. It will be­come an 80kmh zone next month.

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