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Published: 2016-03-23 00:00:00

Community views are sought about the speed people travel on selected roads in the Buckland Road/Puketutu Road area, a tourism hotspot in the district.

The multi-agency Waikato Regional Transport Committee (RTC) is looking at better ways to manage speed on Waikato roads, and is working with councils in the region to test new ways to do this at a handful of possible demonstration sites. The aim is to reduce deaths and serious injuries on the region’s roads – 69 people died last year.

The Waikato Speed Management project will test a new approach to speed management using a new national Draft Speed Management Guide, which has been developed by the road safety sector. The Waikato region has been selected to demonstrate the new draft guide over the coming year at a number of locations in the region. The project aligns with the RTC’s Regional Road Safety Strategy, and the Government’s Safer Journeys Strategy.

Working closely with Matamata-Piako District Council, and using the guide, the roads selected suggest safety could be improved for people by managing speed differently in these locations.

The views of people who live and travel on the roads is being sought, to help the council decide whether to progress changes at the locations through a speed bylaw. If supported, some of the things which may be done to manage speed include road markings, signage, education, changes to speed limits and road safety campaigns.

The proposed sites are:

  • Buckland Road, Puketutu Road and Mathieson Road

People can find out more and share their views from 21 March – 20 April at waikatoregion.govt.nz/Speed-management. Those who fill in the survey can go in the draw to win one of 10 prizes.

Views can also be shared in person at drop-in sessions:

  • Matamata -  6 April, 3pm-5.30pm, Matamata Library

Waikato Speed Management Project governance group chair Cr Leo Tooman says far too many people are being killed or seriously injured on the region’s roads.

“Many of our Waikato roads are unforgiving and just leave no room for error. With our wide range of roads and speed settings, we need to take a fresh look at how speed is managed so people drive at the right speed for the road and conditions.”

Matamata-Piako District Council Asset Manager Strategy and Policy Susanne Kampshof says they are keen to hear the community’s views on speed limits.

“We want to know what people think about the current speed limits in the Buckland Road/Puketutu Road area. The trial is an opportunity to look at speed risk and safety issues”, she said.

“At the end of the day people do make mistakes and if we can work together to reduce risk by managing speed, then our communities will be better off.”

The experience of the demonstration sites will help in the rollout across the Waikato over the longer term of a more joined up and consistent approach to how speed is managed on the region’s roads.