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Safety of students on roads key concern of schools, Council

Speed Limit Bylaw Review 2021 1 002

Napier City Council is putting safety first after considering the concerns of schools, parents and residents who submitted to the 2021 Review of Napier’s Speed Limits Bylaw.  

Earlier today councillors considered nearly 700 submissions to the 2021 Review of Napier Speed Limits Bylaw 2012, covering 40-plus recommendations. The majority of recommendations were for the speed limit to be reduced from 100 to 80 km/h on most of Napier’s rural roads, while 100 km/h roads that had seen an increase in residential development would have their limits lowered to 50 km/h.  The safety of school pupils was also front of mind with variable speed limits around schools being recommended at peak hours. 

Safety was the main reason these changes were sought. Consistency was also important, making sure the limits throughout Napier fit the location and reflected the level of risk, also taking into account the limits set across the city boundaries by Hastings District Council, and those roads under NZ Transport Agency-Waka Kotahi control. 

Councillors decided to keep the status quo in the central business district, asserting that most motorists were already travelling at lower speeds and the safety of pedestrians and cyclists in our CBD would be better addressed with an investment in infrastructure. 

Submissions from Springfield Road residents supported a lower limit, alongside advice from staff and Waka Kotahi, strengthening Councillors’ resolve to vote for this change. 

Parents and staff associated with Port Ahuriri School remain concerned with the risk to children crossing or using Battery Road, and Council staff intend to carry out further consultation with them and others who may be affected by an extension of the variable limit zone around the school. Council has also asked for further information and consultation on the introduction of a school variable limit zone around Eskdale School on Hill Road.  

The variable limit zone between Taradale High and Taradale Intermediate on Murphy Road was extended, but this was a matter of extending one zone 150m in one direction, so no further consultation was required with the community. 

NCC will also be taking a closer look at Willowbank Ave with further consultation to be undertaken. This follows submissions noting the increasingly busy road, growing development and the range of road users. 

The Bylaw Statement of Proposal will be updated and presented to Council for adoption by the Chief Executive at the next possible meeting. Officers will also prepare a plan to consult those affected by any change to the Port Ahuriri and Eskdale school zones, and Willowbank Ave, to be considered at the same meeting. 

“I thank all the people who have taken the time to comment on our proposals, both now and in 2018 when we held our first review of this bylaw. Measuring opinion against data is never an easy task when we need to make these types of decisions. We acknowledge that such changes may not be universally liked, but we believe we have the balance right in our decisions today,” says Mayor Kirsten Wise. 

 

22 September 2021

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