Speed limit to be reduced near Waitati

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is looking at reducing the speed limit on State Highway 1 near the entrance to Waitati township, after years of concern from locals that the area is unsafe.

Waikouaiti Coast community board chairman Gerard Collings said an NZTA representative told the board at a meeting last week they were looking at reducing the speed at the bend and plans would be finalised in time for the next board meeting.

NZTA had indicated that a reduction in speed from 100kmh to 80kmh was likely and the change could happen in the next six months.

The plan comes after many years of concern from locals about the safety on the bend at the turnoff to Waitati township, Mr Collings said.

"There has been a number of incidents over the last couple of years and quite a few near misses," he said.

The location of the Blueskin General Store, the speed of the traffic and the sight lines all made the bend unsafe, he said.

There was a project in the NZTA programme to realign the bend, but as that had not been successful in attracting funding, a reduction in speed would be welcome in the meantime.

NZTA Otago-Southland state highways manager Ian Duncan confirmed a review of the speed limit at the site was under way.

"This has been prompted by a desire to look at ways of reducing the risk of speed related crashes at the Waitati Corner on State Highway 1.

"There is a strict process to be followed around speed limit setting and a final decision on whether the speed limit at this corner is lowered or not could be another two months away," Mr Duncan said.

The Dunedin City Council has decided to install chevron warning signs at an intersection on the corner of Thomas and Scotia Sts and Scotia and Geelong Sts in Waikouaiti, after police expressed concern following a crash where a driver went straight through a corner.


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