Councillors query how speed limits are set
Speed limits around the South Waikato continue to frustrate South Waikato District councillors but it seems there is no quick fix.
Councillors discussed speed limits at Thursday’s meeting of the community and assets committee.
New councillor Allan Blair said he wondered how speed limits were determined, par- ticularly where state highways entered towns.
‘‘Coming into Tokoroa from Mangakino it goes down to 50kmh from 70kmh just short of a pedestrian crossing,’’ he said.
‘‘We need to think very hard about the approaches to our urban areas.’’
Meeting chairwoman Jenny Shattock said she agreed with Mr Blair as would all councillors but getting speed limits changed was difficult. Council chief executive David Hall said New Zealand Transport Agency had a set of criteria it used to set speed limits.
He also warned that creating a speed limit where drivers may not regard it as warranted would not necessarily reduce speeds.
State Highway 1 at the northern end of Tirau was an example of this he said.
Most drivers went faster than the 50kmh limit at the northern end of town.
‘‘People just won’t observe (speed limits) if they think they’re unnecessary.’’
At the other end of Tirau though, NZTA is looking at creating a 70kmh zone.
As part of planning for the new intersection at state highway one and state highway five NZTA is considering a 70kmh zone from Tirau to the intersection.