Report from the Speed Limits Review Hearings 2014

Our chairman Tim Finn attended this year's submissions hearings on 17 October on behalf of the Moutere Hills Residents Association. Councillors Norriss, Edgar and Dowler plus council staff were present. The MHRA had issued a submission relating to the proposed speed changes around Mahana village and school.

MHRA presented in favour of the proposed reduction to 60 kph for 850 metres each way along Old Coach Road from the intersection with School Road, and for 220 m down School Road from the same intersection.

However, MHRA proposed that the 60 kph zones be extended along Old Coach Road to its intersection with the Moutere Highway, and for the complete extent of School Road from Old Coach Road to Carlyons Road, noting the presence of bends, intersections and general road conditions and usage that, in our opinion, made 60 kph a more suitable speed limit than the newly proposed 80 kph.

We consider the case for extending the proposed 60 kph zone to include the full length of School Road particularly compelling. This is a metal road of one kilometre length with Mahana School situated 100 m from the intersection with Old Coach Road. The road is quite narrow in parts and the last 500 metres include a series of bends which make it unsafe for speeds over 35 - 45 kph. The present proposal for this small road would have motorists restricted to 60 kph for the first 220 m from the Old Coach Road junction past the school, followed by an 80 kph zone for the remaining 780 metres, of which only about 260 metres is in any way suitable for that sort of speed. Given the state of the road and the presence of school children, common sense would suggest that it be restricted to 60 kph for its entire length.

Prior to the meeting and following discussion at the AGM, MHRA had questioned the lack of response from TDC regarding our submissions relating to speed limits along the lower part of Neudorf Road, and along the Moutere Highway past the Moutere Hills Community Centre. These were indeed looked at by TDC as part of the review, however the results were not passed on to the submitters in a straight forward process - following additional inquiries we were able to find them on the TDC website.

Councillors at the hearing allowed MHRA to speak to these previous submissions. Tim suggested the possibility of an electronic hazard warning system which could be used before the bends each side of the Community Centre on busy occasions such as Saturday sports etc. The suggestion was well received and MHRA is planning to discuss this option further with the hall committee.