Collaborative approach to road safety
After extensive engagement with community groups, the Hurunui District Council’s proposed Speed Limit changes went out for consultation in mid 2020.
This process resulted in the new Speed Limits Bylaw 2020 which will come into effect on February 2.
The implementation of this Bylaw has been a by-product of The 1600k Project - a successful road safety-focused collaboration between Hurunui District Council and many community members.
It placed the Council in a great position to grasp an understanding of the issues and solutions to increase safety on the district’s roads as reflected by those who live here, thanks to a successful engagement project which was carried out in November 2019.
Kait Murray, Hurunui District Council Team Leader for Roading, said a comprehensive understanding of what was needed was collated.
“It led us to understand where people thought we had some issues. Where we could fix them through physical works we either have done or will be aiming to do in the near future. In some instances, speed limit changes were a way to address the issue, so this is what's being done.”
Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Authority’s (NZTA) guidance on speed limits is largely based on mean operating speeds on a road and change of environment on that road.
“This is the guidance Council used to help establish the new speed limits,” said Kait.
Cathedral Road in Gore Bay Road is one iconic route that will see a speed limit change, dropping from the current 100km/h, to 60km/h.
“In fact, it is a much more pleasant trip now.”
Selected roads around Amberley, Amberley Beach, Ashley Forest, Cheviot, Gore Bay, Culverden, Greta Valley, Hanmer Springs, Hurunui Mouth, Leithfield, Leithfield Beach, Rotherham, Waiau and Waipara will see reduced speeds.
There will be some cautionary speed reduction signs, eg ‘50km – In 250m’ signs before some of the new speed limited areas, so drivers can prepare safely.
This Bylaw is made under the authority of section 22AB of the Land Transport Act 1988 and the Land Transport Rule as the Setting of Speed Limits 2017.
Public consultation for the Hurunui District Council Speed Limits Bylaw 2020 opened on May 28, 2020 and closed on June 29, 2020, with 42 submissions received. Higher levels of traffic due to urbanisation, popular tourist roads or population build up, and vegetation or road conditions, were the main reasons for requests for a lower speed limit.
Council adopted the recommendations on December 17, 2020.