Speed limit to be studied

A traffic survey is to be carried out in Duntroon next month as part of an investigation into the town's speed limit, which the Duntroon and District Development Association and some residents want lowered.

The association has been campaigning with the New Zealand Transport Agency to have the 70kmh limit on State Highway 85 through the town and the Waitaki District Council's side streets returned to 50kmh.

The agency's senior safety engineer in Dunedin, Roy Johnston, has now told the association it will take a detailed look at the proposal.

Traffic counters will be used in early August, after the Duntroon School goes back, to gather data in two locations in Duntroon. The counters record the number of vehicles, the type of vehicles and their speeds.

A desktop review of the current speed limit and recent crash data was also being completed.

"This information, along with the traffic count data, will enable us to assess the potential benefits and effects of lowering the speed limit, and what road engineering measures might be necessary to ensure compliance with any lower limit," he said.

When the counts were completed, the data would be reviewed and the situation and alternatives discussed with community representatives so they had a full understanding.

The agency would then decide whether it was appropriate to proceed with a formal speed limit review or whether alternative solutions would achieve a better result, he said.

The council had also looked at the situation with the side streets, some of which, residents said, were too narrow, and had blind corners, to warrant a 70kmh limit.

The council planned to carry out a review of speed limits throughout the district last financial year, but postponed it. It has undertaken to complete that this financial year, during which the Duntroon limit would be considered.

The association has been campaigning to have the limit lowered for safety reasons, especially school children using the highway or side streets which have no footpaths.

There used to be a 50kmh limit, but that changed in 2005.

The chairman of the association, Mike Gray, said future development, including the Alps 2 Ocean cycleway which passes through Duntroon, would put added pressure on safety.

- david.bruce@odt.co.nz


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