Bathgate School principal Whetu Cormick is worried about
the speed of traffic outside his school. Photo by Peter
Dunedin schools have called for a blanket 40kmh speed
zone to be implemented around all schools in the city, not just
a selected few.
About 80 Dunedin schools were recently assessed for traffic
problems, but only Carisbrook School, King's High School,
Queen's High School, Kaikorai Valley College and Wakari
School met New Zealand Transport Agency criteria for speed
reductions during peak traffic times.
Criteria included how many children walked, cycled, entered
or exited vehicles along a school road; the speed limit on
the road; if it was a main route; if there had been any
accidents; and if physical constraints obscured lines of
The assessment aimed to determine if a 40kmh variable speed
limit would reduce the risk to vulnerable road users.
Bayfield High School principal Judith Forbes was one of many
principals around the city who advocated a blanket 40kmh
speed zone around all schools.
''Whenever young pedestrians are put at risk with regards to
vehicles, the pedestrian is always going to come off much the
''So if vehicles can slow down a little around schools, then
it makes it safer for everybody.''
She said the Dunedin City Council had been helpful in
reducing vehicle speed on Shore St, by placing judder bars in
several places, but concerns about vehicle speed remained,
particularly on Musselburgh Rise.
Bathgate Park School principal Whetu Cormick said he was
bewildered that King's High School and Queen's High School
had been considered for a 40kmh zone around their schools,
but his school had not.
''I'm not down on Bay View Rd, but I get a very strong
feeling that Macandrew Rd is a busier road than Bay View Rd.
He said, on the whole, drivers respected the pedestrian
crossing outside Bathgate, but there had been instances when
vehicles had gone through the crossing while the lollipops
''I think that's because they've been distracted, they
haven't seen it, or they've been going too fast to stop in
''Out here, in the afternoon, it's a nightmare.
''There's King's and Queen's kids everywhere, there's our
kids, there's cars travelling through and then, of course,
there's parents picking kids up.''
He, too, called for a blanket 40kmh zone around all schools
between 8.45am and 9.15am, and 2.45pm to 3.15pm.
''In Australia, I know for a fact, they have it at all
schools; not just dedicated or specific ones.''
North East Valley Normal School principal John McKenzie
He said North Rd was very busy and he believed 50kmh was too
fast when travelling past the school.
Young children could be unpredictable around school gates -
especially 5-year-olds who could run out in front of cars or
let go of their parents' hands while going across a crossing,
''Any reduction in speed around schools would be a sensible
Kaikorai Primary School principal Simon Clarke said the
boards of trustees at Kaikorai Primary and Columba College
were in negotiations with the Dunedin City Council about
erecting pedestrian-controlled traffic lights on Highgate.
''At the moment, Highgate is extremely dangerous, and if
these lights weren't going in, we would be advocating for a
40kmh speed zone in the area.
''We're all for the 40kmh speed zones. Anything to keep our
Dunedin City Council senior traffic engineer Ron Minnema said
defining the boundaries of a school zone would be
challenging, and the cost of erecting the necessary signage
would be prohibitive.
He said council was working on other measures to slow
traffic, such as judder bars, raised street tables and
traffic light-controlled pedestrian crossings.
''We will provide different solutions to different problems
for different schools.
''For a lot of the schools, having a blanket 40kmh speed zone
around them won't do anything for them, to be honest.
''Quite a few of them are in cul-de-sacs, for others speeding
is not an issue, and they actually have other issues that are
bigger issues than the perceived risk.
''Just because we've done this, it doesn't mean that is it.
We are going to continue looking at schools and different
methods to reduce the risk.''
The 40kmh initiative will now undergo public consultation and
public submissions will run from July 1 to August 1.
Changes, if confirmed, will be in place from February 1 next