30kmh limit finds support

Dunedin city councillors support lowering the speed limit for John Wilson Ocean Dr, but it could be a year before any change is introduced.

Councillors at yesterday's planning and environment committee meeting backed a staff recommendation that would eventually see the coastal road's speed limit cut from 50kmh to 30kmh.

However, the proposal would first have to go through the council's next speed-limit review process, including public consultation and, possibly, a public hearing.

The process would begin later this year, but any change might not finally be agreed until the middle of next year, council senior traffic engineer Ron Minnema told the Otago Daily Times.

Installing the new speed-limit signs could take another ''six to eight weeks'' after that, he said.

The change was likely to be bundled together with up to 12 other proposed speed-limit reviews for other city roads, which would all be considered together, he said.

However, Mr Minnema said reducing the speed limit to 30kmh would merely formalise what most drivers were already doing.

A traffic survey conducted earlier this year had found 85% of motorists using the road travelled at less than 40kmh, although 25 vehicles drove at more than 40kmh, and two at more than 50kmh, each day.

The results showed a 50kmh speed limit on the road was not appropriate, but a 30kmh limit was, his report to councillors said.

Councillors voted late last year to set a 20kmh ''goal'' for John Wilson Ocean Dr, but that depended on community support to provide traffic-calming measures, which had not yet been forthcoming.

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

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