The Paekākāriki Community Board is urging the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to enforce new speed reductions along State Highway One near Paekākāriki.
“Accidents occurring on SH1 either side of Paekākāriki have highlighted how dangerous this road is,” says board member, and Paekakariki/Raumati Councillor, Janet Holborow.Ms Holborow says: ” We have been asking for the 70 km/h speed limit in place on part of that stretch to be extended since it was first put in place in 2007,”
Last year, the NZTA provided the board with a report recommending extending the slower speed area on SH1 either side of Paekākāriki, but the work was never carried out.
At the latest Community Board meeting, the board was told by Council staff that the work had been cancelled.
Accidents alarm the Community Board
“The accidents in this area should have rung alarm bells,” Cr Holborow says.
“The current location of the 70km/h signs don’t encourage compliance, as they don’t coincide with any other triggers to tell motorists to slow down, such
as developments on the roadside.
She adds: “If the threshold was moved further north, the presence of houses on SH1 would encourage motorists to adhere to the speed limit. NZTA’s own guidelines indicate that positioning the signs further north would be more appropriate.”
A proposal for a wire rope median barrier along this stretch of SH1, long under discussion, has been turned down by NZTA with the future construction
of Transmission Gully cited as the major reason.
Board chair Jack McDonald says that while the Board is hoping that decision can be turned around, extended speed limits on their own would increase safety.
“The Paekākāriki community has long been pushing for the speed reduction to be extended along this notoriously dangerous stretch of SH1 and see it as crucial that action is taken to achieve this,”says Mr McDonald.
The board also decided at its meeting to support a Council proposal to continue to allow right-hand turns (to turn south) from the south end of Ames Street on to
A Council report had recommended not to proceed with an earlier proposal to stop vehicles doing this.
“This means traffic will continue to turn out of Ames Street, so it’s even more important that the speed on the main road is reduced and cars can go onto it safely,” says Mr McDonald.