Calls for speed limit review in Wigram Skies

Kilmarnock Enterprises CEO Michael Toothill and David Graham, Rachel Meads and Bridget Platt wait...
Kilmarnock Enterprises CEO Michael Toothill and David Graham, Rachel Meads and Bridget Platt wait to cross Lodestar Ave. PHOTO: GEOFF SLOAN
“Our team literally take their lives in their own hands each time they cross the road.”

That is how Kilmarnock Enterprises chief executive officer Michael Toothill describes the day-to-day difficulties members of the organisation, who have a number of disabilities, face when walking across Lodestar Ave.

That is why the social enterprise, based on Lodestar Ave, is advocating for the speed limit to be lowered on the road as part of a proposed speed limit of roads in Wigram Skies.

The enterprise provides employment, training and support for people with disabilities.

The city council is considering lowering the speed limits of roads in the Wigram Skies subdivision from 50km/h to 40km/h – including Lodestar.

Mr Toothill, along with members, as well as general manager Robbi Shearer made a presentation to the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board pushing for the changes to be made recently.

Crossing the road is all the more challenging for his team who have a range of disabilities.

Mr Toothill described some of the challenges members of the enterprise faced is spatial and situation awareness and the ability to make quick decisions.

Bridget Platt said she often feels anxious when she has caught the bus to the enterprise on a sunny morning when visibility is more difficult and the traffic is busy.

Her views were backed by David Graham who said crossing Lodestar Ave is “dangerous at the best of times.”

“Even though you look both ways the cars sneak up on you and speed is a factor around other things.”

Rachel Meads told the board getting across Lodestar Ave in the morning was “absolutely impossible.”

“It scares the living wits out of me.”

The enterprise is also calling for warning flashing signals and lines to be painted on Lodestar Ave to narrow the road and slow traffic down.

As of March this year on average 2707 vehicles are travelling on the road daily – an increase from September 2018 of 2414 daily.

For the past four years, noisy trucks on Lodestar Ave have been a long-standing issue for residents living at Lady Wigram Retirement Village.

At the board meeting, the community board received a memorandum from city council staff on plans to undertake a pre-assessment of a speed limit review for the Wigram Skies area.

City council staff will be discussing the proposed speed limit review with organisations including police, Wigram Primary School and businesses before reporting to the board this month.

Mr Shearer said Lodestar Ave coming up for a speed limit review was helpful and a good start.









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