The Timaru Herald

Speeds reducing around high-risk areas in district

- Rachael Comer

Reduced speed areas are being introduced throughout the district around schools, urban developed areas, and the Timaru CBD, the council has confirmed.

The changes are a result of the Speed Management Plan that was approved by the Timaru District Council and NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi earlier this year.

The plan prioritise­s the safety and wellbeing of community members by targeting kura (schools) and other highrisk locations, Timaru District Council land transport manager Susannah Ratahi said.

“These locations were identified through public feedback and supported through research that showed we could put in safer speed limits while maintainin­g travel journey efficiency,’’ she said.

“By implementi­ng these changes, we aim to enhance road safety and ensure streets are places where people feel safe to walk, ride, cycle, scoot, drive, and access public transport.”

The first changes will be made around schools, through the introducti­on of a 30 kilometre-per-hour permanent or variable speed limit for urban schools throughout the district.

While urban schools will be reduced to 30kph, this will vary from rural and state highway facing schools.

“Our rural schools will receive a 60km permanent or variable speed limit due to a lower volume of active transport used in these areas,’’ Ratahi said.

Speed limits around schools that are adjacent to highways, such as Timaru

“We have taken a proactive but balanced approach to ensure travel times for motorists are not impacted unduly.”

Susannah Ratahi Timaru District Council

South School and Roncalli, will not be changed at this time, she said.

The schools with variable speeds will be equipped with electronic signs flashing the reduced speed during school drop-off and pick-up times, when students are most at risk.

“Research undertaken within New Zealand and Australia shows that if a person walking is hit by a car travelling at 50kph, the chance of survival is only 20%. If a person is hit by a car travelling at 30kph, the chance of survival increases to 90%,” Ratahi said.

“These changes are a response to public feedback over a number of years by people living in these communitie­s.

“We have taken a proactive but balanced approach to ensure travel times for motorists are not impacted unduly.”

 ?? JOHN BISSET/THE TIMARU HERALD ?? The Speed Management Plan prioritise­s the safety and wellbeing of community members by targeting kura (schools) and other high-risk locations, Timaru District Council land transport manager Susannah Ratahi said.
JOHN BISSET/THE TIMARU HERALD The Speed Management Plan prioritise­s the safety and wellbeing of community members by targeting kura (schools) and other high-risk locations, Timaru District Council land transport manager Susannah Ratahi said.

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