New speed limits for Western Bay roads

Wednesday 02 December 2020

Western Bay of Plenty District Council has reviewed and is changing speed limits on 39 local roads across the District and will introduce new or variable speed limits for 12 schools during opening and closing times.

The changes are a result of public consultation on Council’s partial speed limit bylaw review earlier this year – with the exception of any state highways which are not under Council’s jurisdiction.

Changes include a variable 40km/h speed limit around seven urban schools and permanent active warning signs (60km/hr) at five rural schools to encourage motorists to reduce speed during peak opening and closing times.

Variable limits, set at 40km/h, will be set around the school zones of Katikati Primary, Katikati College, Waihi Beach, Oropi, Maketu, Paengaroa and Te Puke Intermediate schools.

Active warning advisory speed signs will be erected at Rangiuru, Pongakawa, Omokoroa No 1, Whakamarama and Pukehina schools.

The speed limit changes to 39 roads across the District are also in response to community requests and have been influenced by increased residential subdivision and increased traffic on Council’s roading network.

Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber says the reduced speeds will go some way to making the local roading network safer.

“The major cause of injury and death on our roads are alcohol, speed and drugs. Reducing speed limits on our local roads will have a significant impact on road safety in our District.”

Mayor Garry says Council’s decision to reduce speeds around rural schools during peak drop-off and pick-up times is a direct response to many requests from the public.

“We have reviewed the speed environment around all our schools and assessed which are the best options for managing speeds. The changes take into consideration the environment around each of the schools.

“Some are best suited for variable speed limits set at 40km/h ands others are better suited for active warning signs to raise motorists awareness they are entering a rural school zone.”

Other changes include a default speed limit of 50km/h for defined urban traffic areas. This means all new roads created as a result of subdivision within these defined areas would default to 50km/h rather than requiring a bylaw review process to set the speed limit.

Once formally adopted by Council on Thursday 17 December, the changes will come into effect from 29 March 2021.