Interim Speed Management Plan consultation begins

Published on 07 March 2023

roading team staff

The Waitaki District Council roading team is asking you for your feedback around speed limits at schools in the Waitaki District with the Interim Speed Management Plan consultation.

Waitaki District Council models our road safety programmes with central governments directions, research on road safety, learning from crashes, local strategic direction and community outcomes and the needs and interests of our communities.

Council has mapped the areas for safe speeds around schools and are asking your feedback to gain an understanding if these are deemed sufficient.

Waitaki District Council Network Infrastructure Engineer, Rodger McGaw said, “We have set our own implementation target that exceeds the one proposed by Waka Kotahi, with the aim to get our tamariki to school safer, sooner.”

With many families walking, scootering, and cycling to schools, speed limit changes are now focused on the journey to and from school, not just outside the school gate.

Waitaki District Council Road Safety Coordinator, Carrie Hamilton said “Research shows that speed limits around school zones are most effective between 300m and 500m long, this plan focuses on a wider area with the aim of keeping our children safer on their journey’s to and from school.”

Regardless of the cause of an accident, we know higher speeds lead to more crashes and a greater chance of injury or death. A small change in speed makes a big difference, especially when a pedestrian is involved. We are focused on ensuring that all our children / tamariki can travel to and from school safely.

Phase One schools include Macraes Moonlight School, Hampden School, Kakanui School, Maheno School, Totara School, Weston School, Papakaio School, Duntroon School, Waitaki Valley School, Ōmārama School and Five Forks School. We aim to have speed changes around these schools implemented by September 2023.

Phase Two schools have been selected as they share the majority of the frontage with the State Highway or journeys to and from the schools are closely connected with the State Highway. The speed limits outside these schools will change when Waka Kotahi produces their speed management plan which is scheduled for later in 2023.

Phase Two schools include Waitaki Girls’ High School, East Otago High School, Palmerston School, Ōamaru Intermediate, Te Pākihi o Maru, St Joseph’s School, St Kevin’s College, Fenwick School, Pembroke School, Waitaki Boys’ High School and Ardgowan School.

Weston School Principal Deidre Senior said “I am very appreciative of the current focus on reducing speeds around Weston School. With an increase in the amount of traffic around our school, reducing the speed limit will be an effective tool to assist us to continue to keep our students safe when coming into and leaving school each day.”

Mr McGaw continued, “We first engaged with schools in late 2022 and now we are asking the wider community – schools included - to have a look at the consultation document and have your say.”

Council will receive and consider public feedback and be asked to adopt the final interim speed management plan prior to works commencing. Later in 2023, Council will be consulting on the full speed management plan which will consider the whole district, adjacent land-us, our types of roads and road users with the aim of protecting the wider community on or near our roads.