Coun­cil­lors query how speed lim­its are set

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By MATHEW GROCOTT

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.

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