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Driving speed limits on the way down

Editorial

New speed limits of 80kmh on rural roads, 40kmh on most urban roads and 30kmh in the city centre are being proposed in a new speed management approach for the Gisborne District that will be consulted on alongside the draft 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan.

A report for the Regional Transport committee, which met yesterday, covered recommended speed limits for rural townships and the Gisborne CBD, and said a follow-up report would focus on the rest of the city and immediate surrounds, including the Flats and Wainui. It noted that while maps showed proposed speed limits beyond the CBD these still needed to be benchmarked against other criteria, and maps “will be developed once the implications of the heavy freight bylaw are realised”.

However, the general rule proposed for the local roads that the council is responsible for is that 100kmh will change to 80kmh, and 50kmh changes to 40kmh except for main routes that drivers are encouraged to use — with the examples of Ormond Rd, Roebuck Rd, Lytton Rd and Gladstone Rd given as keeping a 50kmh speed limit — and the 30kmh proposal for the CBD area and around schools.

A speed management plan prepared by engineering services consultancy Stantec also includes the following principles that would guide the application of speed management around the district:

- Speeds around schools at the start and end of the school day will be 30kmh for urban schools and 60kmh for rural schools

- Where there are high numbers of people walking, cycling and crossing the road, the speed will be 30kmh; this will include roads around marae

- Speed limits across the Gisborne CBD will be reduced to 30kmh, excluding some major streets

- Speed limits of 40kmh to be applied in rural townships.

The council report says the proposals had been developed using NZTA/Waka Kotahi’s “safer journeys risk assessment tool”, which has been rolled out nationwide.

It noted that speed increased both the likelihood and the severity of crashes when they happened. Crash analysis on deaths and serious injury also showed the Gisborne district was 1.5 times worse than the national average.

“The proposed speeds are more realistic safe speeds to guide people on road use and to help reduce the severity and number of driver error and intersection crashes that are too prevalent on the network, and to help people feel safer to walk and cycle by reducing the speeds of vehicles around them.”

  1. Margaret Linton says:

    How ridiculous.