Ricky Wilson / Stuff
Reduced speed limits for State Highway 51 between Napier and Hastings begin October 29. (File photo)
Waka Kotahi NZ transport agency reduced speed limits on State Highway 51 between Napier and Hastings after five people were killed and 28 others seriously injured between 2010 and 2019.
The agency consulted the public earlier this year on proposed gear changes for Marine Parade’s SH51 in Waipatu – this comes after the community demanded that gears be lowered and road ratings showed that it was a high accident risk.
Starting October 29, the permanent speed limits from Napier to Clive will be increased from 100 km / h to 80 km / h, Township of Clive will be increased to 60 km / h, and Waipatu will be reduced from 70 km / h to 60 km / h.
“The region is developing rapidly and this road is one of the busiest in the region. People use it to commute to work, school or the marae, to visit family or friends, or to go to the supermarket, ”said the agency’s regional relations director, Linda Stewart.
* Slower speeds proposed for SH57 between Levin and Shannon
* Waka Kotahi will review nearly 1,800 submissions on the 80 km / h speed proposal for the Napier-Taupō road
* Planning for a $ 100 million safety upgrade on the famous Napier-Taupō road is advanced
* Te Pōhue residents say the general speed limit on the Napier-Taupō road is not the answer
“Wherever they go, everyone should be able to go and come back safely. “
“The new speed limits are the safe and appropriate speeds for this road and are consistent with the speeds people are currently traveling on the road,” said Stewart.
“Fewer serious accidents will also mean fewer closures, which will increase the reliability of this important route.”
But not everyone was impressed with the gear changes – Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the Waipatu community had been abandoned.
“While it is nice to see reduced speed limits, the community of Waipatu had safety concerns and had advocated that the speed limit in the community be reduced to 50 km / h and applied to a stretch of longer road, ”Hazlehurst said.
“The community of Waipatu and our council preferred that the speed limit be reduced for this section of road from 70 km / h to 50 km / h.
“We can accept 60 km / h, but what the community really wanted was the extension of a reduced speed limit to Te Ara Kahikatea Dr.”
The decision not to extend the reduction in the speed limit seemed absurd, Hazlehurst said.
Stewart said the agency had not proposed reducing the speed limit for the SH51 between St Georges Rd and Ruahapia or extending the 60 km / h from Kenilworth Rd to include Bay Espresso due to the proposed safety improvement SH51 Waipatu Marae.
“This project changes the route of the road along this section of road, with a widening and a flush median being installed. These safety improvements will allow safer turns and vehicle separation in this area. “
The consultation for the review of the SH51 speed limit was combined with the consultation on the proposal to lower the speed limit on a section of the Napier to Taupō Highway (National Highway 5) from Rangiataiki to Esk Valley.
The agency will announce the decision for SH5 speeds once the road technical review and analysis is complete. The decision was expected by the end of the year.
Speed limits are too high on the majority of New Zealand’s roads, according to the NZ Transport Agency. (Video first published in June 2019)