You can now have your say about the speed limits on 67 roads across the Tasman District. The proposal presented by the Tasman District Council (TDC) aims to reduce road deaths and serious injuries and ensure consistency across the roading network. The consultation is open at the TDC website and the proposed changes can be presented until 1 November.

“Research shows an undeniable relationship between speed and road safety – there is no other risk factor that has a more powerful impact on accidents or injuries than speed,” says Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne. He said road safety had deteriorated both nationally and in Tasman over the past three years.

“We want to reverse that trend and make sure our residents and visitors can go about their daily lives in Tasman District safely, returning home to their loved ones once they have finished their journeys. That’s what reducing speed limits is about,” says Richard. The proposed roads were selected following a review that included looking at roads requested by the community, as well as an assessment of the highest-risk roads.

One of the roads listed in the speed reducing proposal is Lower Queen Street in Richmond. The reduction would be from the existing 50km/h limit to 60m northwest of Headingly Lane. The speed would drop from 60km/h to 50km/h. The reason for the proposal is the ‘existing 50km/h adjusted to match urban development’.

Mel Harnetty, who works at Helping Families Nelson as a volunteer agrees with the change, particularly at one of the roads where it may happen, agrees with it.

“Roads and driveways are coming off this area and I think it is a good move, because the traffic is going to be busier and busier over here. Now there is summer coming, visitors, people going to the beach. It’s a main road. Even without the population growing, it grows anyway in summertime,” says Mel.

Ellis Street in Brightwater is another road which could have the speed reduced. It would be from from Lightband Road to Lord Rutherford Road. The speed would be reduced from 50km/h to 40km/h and the reasons are “safer and consistent speeds for busy school roads and town centre roads.” It will be supported by a Brightwater gateway and traffic-calming features to be constructed as part of the Brightwater town centre upgrade project during 2019/20.

“We think it’s great because it is going to make it a lot safer for children getting to and from school for us. We were involved with the TDC and their development plan for Ellis Street as well, and we are all for it,” says Glenda Earle, deputy principal at Brightwater School.

For Sara Chapman, who works at The Local Fish n’ Chips, in Brightwater, thinks it is a good idea. “I reckon that reducing the speed is great. There are a lot of kids out there playing and walking to the playgrounds and a lot of kids walk home by themselves as well,” she says.

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