Proposed reduction of speed limit welcomed

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Luggate people are welcoming new consultation on speed limits in the town.

The NZ Transport Agency has opened consultation on a proposal to reduce the 70kmh zones on either side of the town to 50kmh.

NZTA director of regional relationships Jim Harland said changing the 300-400m sections of State Highway 6 on the east and west entrances from 70 to 50kmh would create a consistent 50kmh highway speed limit through the town.

support for lower speeds through Luggate, something that’s also endorsed by the Queenstown Lakes District Council, Luggate Community Association, the Automobile Association and NZ Police,” Mr Harland said.

In 2018 the average daily highway traffic count through Luggate was 2600 vehicles, up 40% on 2014.

“Local people have told us they are worried about the increasing number of young children trying to cross the highway now there are more young families living in the area, and there are growing numbers of cyclists using this route.”

Luggate Community Association chairman Graeme Perkins said he welcomed the consultation.

A speed reduction was “what we wanted”, but it had taken time convincing NZTA to consider a change, he said.

“It’s taken years just to get them out to have a look”.

Having a reduced speed limit was a welcome change, because of the spread of the town with new construction.

“If they drop it to 50kmh we will be well happy,” Mr Perkins said.

A local resident who did not wish to be named was delighted that a change was finally being considered.

She had lived on the east side of the town since 1991 and said many people highlighted the speed of vehicles through the town.

Locals had “been asking forever” for a reduction in speed.

Her home was within the 100kmh zone and she could see the beginning of the 70kmh zone from her driveway.

There were about a dozen children who lived on the east side of Luggate who walked home from the bus stop in the town to houses in both the 70kmh and 100kmh zone, she said.

There had been several near-misses involving children – “people don’t slow down, they don’t slow down – it is incredible how dangerous it is.”

NZTA team lead, safety engineers Roy Johnston said if the speed limit was reduced from 100kmh to 50kmh at the entrance to Luggate, the change in the speed zone would be well signalled to drivers.

This could include driver feedback signs, which record the driver’s speed and flash that number at the driver as a reminder to slow down.

Similar-sized threshold signs would maintain the visibility levels, he said.

Consultation can be made by visiting www.nzta.govt.nz/otago-speed-reviews

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