Having say on reducing speed limits

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Submissions opened on on Monday about proposed new speed limits for Winchester and Glenavy.

The NZ Transport Agency said it was identifying state highways where lower speed limits could make a big difference in preventing deaths and serious injuries and where communities were calling for change.

“In Winchester, the busy intersection where North St meets State Highway 1 in a 100kmh zone causes a lot of concern,” NZTA director of regional relationships Jim Harland said.

“The residents there were so keen to see the speed reduced they recently presented us with a petition signed by close to 300 people supporting the speed reduction.”

The petition was started by Winchester resident Jo Parke.

“We have huge concerns regarding residents’ safety and especially for the children in our community because of the high speeds people are travelling through Winchester,” she said.

Multiple near-miss accidents had caused residents great concern. They were related to the current signage and its visibility in relation to a nearby bend, the intersection and a built-up area.

The public can now make a submission on a proposal to extend the 50kmh zone on the north side of Winchester a further 190m north. Submissions will be accepted through to November 4.

Meanwhile, residents in Glenavy and Waitaki village on both sides of the Waitaki River want speeds in their area cut.

Mr Harland said NZTA proposed to reduce the existing 70kmh speed limit in Glenavy to 60kmh and then reduce the speed from 100kmh to 80kmh over the Waitaki Bridge and through the settlement on the south side of the bridge.

There have been 26 crashes in the past 10 years resulting in one person being killed, three seriously injured and another 16 people receiving minor injuries.

Submissions on the proposed speed limits in Glenavy and Waitaki will run over the same period as those for Winchester.

NZTA and KiwiRail are also working to make the level crossing at Winchester safer.

Work to upgrade the crossing starts on Monday, October 14, and will take about a week to complete.

The work will include replacing the flashing lights and bells, and installing barrier arms, which will stop drivers crossing when a train is coming.

“While we are doing this work, there will be a temporary speed limit of 30kmh, and at times we may need to reduce SH1 to one lane with stop/go traffic management,” NZTA journey manager Tresca Forrester said.