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A Pegasus couple say it is only a matter of time before someone is killed at the roundabout entry to their town.
Martin and Jill Brooks say the 70kmh speed limit leading up to and through the Pegasus roundabout on State Highway 1 is ‘‘absolutely stupid’’ and should be lowered to 50kmh.
Another Pegasus resident, Ronel Stephens, who is also the community connector for the Pegasus Residents’ Group, agrees the roundabout is dangerous.
‘‘Almost every time I enter or leave that roundabout I have some kind of traffic incident that makes me feel unsafe,’’ she says. ‘‘The speed the traffic enters the roundabout from the north is way too fast.
‘‘It is as if the drivers of the incoming traffic are surprised by their own speed when they are in the roundabout and this often results in the driver veering off on a tangent.’’ This has caused many accidents at the roundabout, making it dangerous not only for motorists but also pedestrians, she says.
Trucks are especially dangerous, at times cutting off other drivers.
Like Martin and Jill, Ronel would also like to see the speed limit cut to 50kmh.
‘‘There are three speed limits between Waikuku and the Pegasus roundabout and they are all very badly signposted,’’ she says.
However, during a September 2019 New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) consultation on speed changes for that section of highway, the agency proposed to ‘‘retain the speed limit at the Pegasus roundabout at the current speed of 70kmh, but to reduce the speed from 100kmh to 80kmh on the stretch of road from Waikuku to where the speed limit currently changes from 100kmh to 70kmh (near Pegasus)’’.
NZTA director of regional relationships Jim Harland says a final decision has yet to be made as the agency is still finalising its analysis of technical data and submissions.
‘‘Changing speed limits is a legal process and so it is important that we are following due process for implementing speed limit changes,’’ he says.
‘‘We understand the frustrations in the time it is taking to provide a decision on this speed review but we are working as efficiently as possible to be able to complete it.’’