Waipā changes gear to lower road risk

1/02/2019 3:00 p.m.

​1 February 2019 

Waipa District Council is proposing over 200 changes to speed limits on Waipā roads to improve road safety.

The proposed changes​ include 40km/h areas in both Te Awamutu and Cambridge town centres, more 50 and 60km/h zones in urban areas, more 60 and 80km/h zones in rural areas and lower speeds near schools. 

The changes, which are open for public feedback on Monday, have been supported by key road safety partners including NZ Police, New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and New Zealand Automobile Association (AA). 

Road corridor manager Bryan Hudson admits the proposal is a lot to take in, but says the changes are necessary to cut down speed-related death and serious injury. 

“During our Safer roads, safer Waipā campaign last year, 59%​ of submitters told us they felt speed made their road unsafe. That is something we need to change. Whether you’re in a car, on a bike, walking or riding a horse, we want everyone to feel safe on our roads.”

The proposed changes are in line with the new national speed management guide which takes into account a number of factors when setting a speed limit, including traffic volumes, development in the area, road characteristics (such as narrow lanes and sharp corners), and crash risk.  

“Not all Waipā roads are built the same. We have a huge amount of rural roads in the district, which have different risks and different users. The speed management guide considers these differences when setting a new speed limit,” Hudson said. 

“Crash data tells us that vehicles travelling at a slower speed will significantly reduce the risk of serious injury or death. Even a change of 10 or 20km/h can make a real difference to road safety without adding much travel time to our trip. 

“This is only the first step,” said Hudson. “We’re also planning improvements on a number of roads,  including more pedestrian crossings, widening roads, adding cycle lanes and improving intersections.”

Council are using an interactive online map-tool, available at waipadc.govt.nz/haveyoursay​ from Monday, to help make it easier for the community to have their say. Users can find their road on the map ‘select a pin’ to show their support or otherwise for a proposed change. 

Hard-copy submission forms are also available at Council offices and libraries.

​Submissions must be received by 5pm, Friday 8 March 2019. 

Page reviewed: 04 Feb 2019 2:47pm