Ashburton council 'confident' in speed limit changes

Several speed limit changes will come into effect at Lake Hood near Ashburton at the end of the...
Several speed limit changes will come into effect at Lake Hood near Ashburton at the end of the month. Photo: LDR / Adam Burns
Slower speed limits on busy Mid Canterbury roads should address community concerns, Ashburton District Council says.

Fifty roads across Ashburton, Lake Hood, Lauriston and Lakes Camp/Clearwater will undergo revised speed limits later this month, following a council-led review, which raised questions around dozens of roads on the outskirts of the district's towns.

It is the second round of changes following the review, with roads in Tinwald, Fairton, Mt Somers, Mayfield, Methven and the Ashburton Business Estate areas adjusted in December.

It is the first roading overhaul of its nature in almost a decade.

The Ashburton District Council recently confirmed which roads would be affected by the latest changes (PDF).

"With the help of residents, we were able to identify areas where the limits just aren't as safe as they should be anymore. These new speeds will rectify that and help to ensure residents can get to their destination safe and sound."

Council infrastructure support group manager Neil McCann was confident that the speed limit changes would address concerns.

"[We're] satisfied with the first stage of the speed limit changes project.

"Council continues to monitor vehicle speeds through the traffic count programme."

When asked if there was an element of complacency among motorists, the council said that was a matter for police.

"As the district continues to grow, traffic is increasing and therefore drivers need to be vigilant," McCann said.

"Intersections and roads in general are busier, wider heavier farm machinery are in use and trucks can now be over 60-tonne.

"These factors require greater awareness from drivers."

Police were invited by council to comment during the review process.

When asked if police had taken part in discussions, McCann said police had recommended a 60 km/h limit on Lake Hood Drive, as opposed to the proposed 80 km/h

The latest changes will come into effect on 30 April.

By Adam Burns
Local Democracy Reporter
adam.b@theguardian.co.nz

  • Local Democracy Reporting is a public interest news service supported by RNZ, the News Publishers' Association and NZ On Air.

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