Safer roads, safer Waipā
This consultation was open from Monday 4 February to Friday 8 March 2019 and is now closed.
How safe are our roads really?
Spanning 1,099km across residential areas and rural communities, our roads are our greatest asset and biggest risk. Council's goal is to reduce the risk of death and serious injury on our roads each year. Over the past 12 months, we've been taking a look at all the roads in Waipā to make sure they are safe for those who use them and that they continue to be safe for the extra 25,000 people who want to call Waipā home by 2050.
The first step is looking at speed. We're proposing quite a few changes to our Speed Limits Bylaw that will go a long way to making our roads safer for everyone.
We asked you
In August 2018, we asked you to tell us about risky roads in your local area to help us decide what changes needed to be made. We received 336 submissions from the community commenting on different areas they felt needed improvement, but one key theme that came through was speed.
Here's what we found:
- 59% of submitters told us speed made their road unsafe.
- 31% of submitters would like to have better pedestrian safety areas.
- 67% think speed is relevant to pedestrian safety.
Other submissions covered risks including: narrow roads, blind corners, damaged road surfaces, road markings, intersections, and lighting. Council's roading team are working on a plan to manage the issues that have been identified. Our budgets and people-power only go so far, so we're prioritising the most at-risk areas first.
We asked the national experts
A new Government direction puts greater emphasis on managing road safety. Instead of looking at the speed limits on our roads using a check list of haves and have nots, we are now able to look at each road more objectively.
New Zealand Transport Agency's (NZTA) new Speed Management Guide was created in 2016 and encourages Council to consider all the risks on our roads when setting a new speed limit. Not all roads are built the same. Rural roads have a different purpose to roads within the town centre. They also have different users. This guide allows us to consider these differences when setting a new speed limit.
And we looked at the stats
On Waipā roads, each year on average:
- 240 crashes
- 2 people die
- 91 people get injured
- 18 people get seriously hurt
Figures taken from the Waipa District Road Safety Analysis 2017
Waipā road safety review:
Download: Waipa road safety review 2017
What we're proposing
Based on your feedback and our research, we're proposing to change the speeds on over 200 roads in the Waipā district. Council takes into account the following factors when considering a speed limit:
- what's in the area (e.g. housing, schools, retirement homes or businesses)
- the types of road users (e.g. cars, cyclists, trucks or pedestrians)
- the amount of traffic on the road
- what the road is like (e.g. type of surface, width, visibility, intersections, corners or number of lanes)
- the crash risk on the road.
We also take into account future growth in the district. We're expecting an additional 25,000 people to live in Waipā by 2050 and we need to make sure our roads can cope with the extra cars, pedestrians and cyclists that come with this growth.
We've used all of this information to help us decide if the speed limits are right on each of our roads.
Statement of proposal document
Download: Safer Roads, Safer Waipā - statement of proposal [PDF, 8MB, 48 pages]
Draft Speed Limits Bylaw document
Download: DRAFT - Speed Limits Bylaw 2019 [PDF, 18MB, 43 pages]
Safer roads in our town centres
We're proposing to change a number of roads in our town centres in Cambridge and Te Awamutu from 50km to 40km per hour.
Higher numbers of people in our town centres mean there is a higher safety risk. The roads in our towns cater to a wide range of road users including cars, pedestrians, cyclists and heavy vehicles like trucks.
Crash data tells us that crashes at speeds over 40km/h have a far higher risk of killing or injuring someone.
A pedestrian hit by a vehicle travelling at:
- 40km/h has a 30% chance of fatality
- 50km/h has an 85% chance of fatality.
Changing the speed limit in our town centres to 40km/h will help lower the risk to all road users.
More 40km/h areas - Cambridge town centre
More 40km/h areas - Te Awamutu town centr
Safer roads in our urban areas
We're proposing to change the speed in some of our urban areas to include more 50km/h and 60km/h areas.
Our towns are growing, and growing fast. As we've created new subdivisions and our town boundaries have spread, we haven't adjusted the speed limits accordingly. A lot of the roads on the edge of our towns which previously have been more rural now have a lot more residential housing. In many cases one side of the road is paddocks while the other is a busy subdivision.
Feedback from our community was that changes were needed to improve safety for local residents. We also need to account for future growth as our towns continue to expand.
More 50km/h and 60km/h areas - Cambridge
More 50km/h and 60km/h areas - Te Awamutu
More 50km/h and 60km/h areas - Pirongia
More 50km/h and 60km/h areas - Rukuhia
More 50km/h and 60km/h areas - Ohaupō
More 50km/h and 60km/h areas - Ngāhinapōuri
More 50km/h and 60km/h areas - Karāpiro
Safer roads in our rural areas
We're proposing to change the speed in some of our rural areas to include more 60km/h and 80km/h areas.
Not all roads are built the same. Rural roads have a different purpose to roads within the town centre. They also have different users. As well as the types of road users you would expect to see in a rural setting like farmers, tractors, animals and trucks, there are increasing numbers of commuters, cyclists and other vehicle traffic as our rural residential areas grow.
The majority of our rural roads aren't all built to cope with high speeds and there is a higher crash risk on our rural roads. In a head-on collision the risk of fatality is 50% more at 100km/h than at 80km/h. At a t-intersection the risk of fatality is 50% more at 80km/h than at 60km/h.
For these proposed changes, we've focused on the risky roads around intersections, schools and high traffic areas on our rural roads.
More 60km/h and 80km/h areas - Cambridge
More 60km/h and 80km/h areas - Te Miro
More 60km/h and 80km/h areas - Roto-o-rangi
More 60km/h and 80km/h areas - Karāpiro
More 60km/h and 80km/h areas - Horahora
More 60km/h and 80km/h areas - Wharepapa South
More 60km/h and 80km/h areas - Arapuni
More 60km/h and 80km/h areas - Te Awamutu
More 60km/h and 80km/h areas - Pirongia
More 60km/h and 80km/h areas - Kaipaki
More 60km/h and 80km/h areas - Rukuhia
More 60km/h and 80km/h areas - Ohaupō
More 60km/h and 80km/h areas - Koromatua
More 60km/h and 80km/h areas - Te Pahu
Safer roads near our schools
We're proposing to change the speed near some of our schools to include more variable speed limits and lower speeds.
The roads outside our district's schools are particularly risky due to the volume of pedestrians and traffic they attract, particularly around drop-off and pick-up times.
Rural schools are often on narrow roads, with bad visibility and motorists travelling at high speeds. Urban schools see high volumes of traffic and larger numbers of students travelling to school often on foot or bikes.
We've reviewed the speeds near all of the schools in our district. Some schools already have speed management measures in places including variable speed signs, pedestrian crossings and traffic islands; but we're proposing changes to the speed near some others.
How are we planning to pay for it?
In order to make these changes there will be some costs for new speed signs and road markings. We've also got budget to make other safety improvements such as engineering our roads, adding pedestrian crossings and other traffic calming measures.
Of these costs, a large portion will be funded by the Government with the remaining coming from our existing roading budgets. There will be no increase to rates as a result of these changes.