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Traffic on 70 roads across Central Otago is set to slow down under a proposed bylaw out now for public feedback.

The community has until mid-April to provide feedback on the proposed speed limits bylaw 2022.

Roading portfolio lead councillor Stu Duncan said the changes were community-driven.

“There’s been calls from our community for a long time to slow traffic down to improve safety on the roads around where we live, work and go to school.

“Central Otago has had a strong period of growth since speed limits were last set.”

The review was a chance to check if speed settings were still fit for purpose, he said.

At a virtual meeting of the Central Otago District Council last week, councillors agreed to the public consultation and the appointment of three councillors, Mr Duncan, Tracy Paterson and Tamah Alley, to hear submissions.

Some councillors expressed misgivings about having multiple speed zones within a short distance of each other, saying it would potentially confuse motorists.

The last review of the speed limits bylaw was in 2007.

Many of the proposed changes were in rural residential where the speed limit was 100kmh areas but where traffic, pedestrian and cyclist volumes had increased due to housing growth, a report to councillors by council senior strategy adviser Alix Crosbie said.

The Clyde Heritage Precinct was suited to a lower speed of 30kmh to account for pedestrians and cyclists.

In Naseby it was recommended the speed limit be cut to 40kmh, consistent with a low-speed village setting, as the township had narrow streets with no kerbs or channels.

Reduced speed limits were proposed for two new subdivisions in Cromwell as the design of the developments suited a lower-speed environment, the report said.

Proposed changes in Roxburgh East Rd were in response to requests from the public.

Changes were not proposed in the local bylaw for school areas at present, as changes in legislation now going through Parliament were likely to alter the process for setting school speed zones.

The council would take further steps following the outcome of this process.

Roading manager James McCallum said the proposed bylaw was part of an ongoing commitment from the council to improve road safety, and significant investigation had gone into the proposal.

Cr Tracy Paterson urged as many people as possible to give feedback on the proposal.

All details are available on the council’s engagement hub at https://lets-talk.codc.govt.nz or on request from any council service centre.

Feedback closes on April 12.