Council defers decision on speed changes

The changes would see the Cambridge town centre speed limit drop to 40km/h.

Waipā District Council is taking additional time to consider the 200-plus proposed changes to speed limits on Waipā roads, after already spending $100,000 on the process.

Council proposed the more-than 200 speed limit changes in February, which include 40km/h areas in Te Awamutu and Cambridge town centres and lower speeds near schools. Feedback closed on March 4, with 84 percent of the 578 public submissions agreeing to reduce some speed limits.

Garry Dyet

Councillors reviewed those written statements and last month listened to verbal submissions, announcing that changes to the Speed Limits Bylaw would be formally adopted in July.

But after its council meeting on Tuesday last week, the organisation said councillors needed more time and the decision was being deferred to a later date, “likely” to be revisited at Council’s committee meeting in August.

Council’s chief executive Garry Dyet said they had been through an extensive consultation process, considering expert opinions and the submissions, and much of the discussion had been around, “Have we got the particular speed limits right on some roads?”

“And that remains a general concern in the room, because it’s quite a major decision, so I’d rather we get it right and everyone’s comfortable with it.”

Susan O’Regan.

Councillor Susan O’Regan thought the organisation was putting more weight on opinions of Wellington officials than Waipā locals, and said the district’s most dangerous hotspots highlighted in the submissions needed to be considered closely.

“That’s hugely valuable and we need to take it into account,” she said. “But instead, we seem to be mainly listening to people from Wellington rather than locals who use the roads every day.”

Council unanimously agreed to take the subject back to the committee stage.

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