Feedback sought on speed changes

Crossroads . . . CDC recommends reducing speed to 80kph on gravel roads like those on Inch-Clutha island.

The Clutha District Council has asked for public feedback on its proposed changes to speed limits throughout Clutha district.

Local authority reviews are a consequence of the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022, which came into force in May 2022 in line with the Labour government’s nationwide ‘‘Road to Zero’’ campaign, which stated a target of reducing death and serious injury on New Zealand’s roads by 40% by 2030.

Changes were discussed at a meeting on October 12, and CDC’s draft speed management plan (DSMP)aims to ‘‘improve safety with a key initiative to ‘‘reduce speed limits’’.

A report to the council provided options for sealed and unsealed rural roads, urban roads and roads outside schools.

Councillors leaned towards the status quo in most areas but were unanimous in favouring a 30kmh speed limit outside most schools, and voted eight to five on a motion to recommend a limit of 80kmh for unsealed rural roads.

Mayor Bryan Cadogan said there had already been much discussion about the initiative and it had been an exhaustive process to produce the draft plan.

‘‘We are now looking forward to hearing from the public, so that we can ensure the speed limit changes will reflect our district’s vision for the safety on our rural and urban roads, and especially around our schools,’’ Mr Cadogan said.

Consultation on the changes opened on November 1 and revised limits are expected to be in place by the middle of next year.

Asked about council’s recommendation of reduced gravel speed, Inch Clutha resident Nathan Hays spoke about an example very close to home.

‘‘My stepson crashed going too fast on a gravel road,’’ Mr Hays said.

‘‘Thank goodness he was OK but things easily could have been different . . . so I’d be in favour of it’’

The proposed speed management plan and feedback form is at speed-management-plan.

There is also an interactive map to search a road in Clutha and check out the proposed speed changes to that road.