There are those in the community who think the council’s proposed speed limit reductions are “daft” or “a joke” and others who are set to embrace a slower pace of life. Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) is giving them all a chance to have their say on the matter as consultation on the draft Speed Limits Bylaw 2019 and proposed speed limit reductions throughout the district opened this week.
The move is in response to the introduction of the New Zealand Speed Management Guide by NZTA and the commencement of the new Setting of Speed Limits Rule 2017 which requires councils to set safe and appropriate speeds across their road network.
The new Speed Limits Bylaw has been updated to reflect legislative change and removes road-specific information which is to be maintained in a separate referenced schedule.
QLDC acting strategy and asset planning manager Polly Lambert said the changes allow council to be more responsive should speed limits need to be amended whilst ensuring the community continues to be consulted on proposed changes.
“QLDC has undertaken a complete review of the Bylaw and speed management which included engaging with key stakeholders such as NZTA, NZ Police, AA and a range of passenger service vehicle operators. We’ve also worked with community associations and local schools to inform the recommendations,” said Lambert.
In addition to the new Bylaw, the recommendations include a number of changes to reduce speeds on some key at-risk roads across the district’s council-managed network.
In a statement to the Wanaka Sun, Active Transport Wanaka welcomed the move.
“We (Active Transport Wanaka) support QLDC’s proposal to lower speed limits in town to provide a safer environment for all users of our roading network. While our primary focus is to build a network of separated bike lanes, reducing traffic speeds comes a close second. Not everyone in our community chooses to cycle around town, but the many that want to should be able to do so safely. We’re really pleased QLDC is putting the lives and wellbeing of people first and we will be submitting in support.”
Council has proposed reducing the speed limit throughout the district’s urban centres from 50kph to 40kph. For those concerned about the slower travel time, council calculations show a journey taken at the reduced speed will take less than a minute longer over 4km.
Full details of the review and recommendations are available at www.qldc.govt.nz/lets-talk where there is the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposals. The community can also find out more by attending a drop-in session on Saturday, March 16, from 12pm-1.30pm at the Community Information Tent, at the junction of Ardmore Street and Dungarvon Street.
Consultation began on Monday, March 11 and submissions must be made by 5pm, Friday, April 12.
Submissions can be made by any of the following through QLDC Let's Talk page www.qldc.govt.nz/lets-talk, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Queenstown Lakes District Council, Private Bag 50072, Queenstown 9348.