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Petition against lower speeds parliament bound

NZTA has proposed a change to the speed limit between Blenheim and Nelson. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

More than 17,000 people have signed their name to a petition against plans to slash the speed limit between Blenheim and Nelson.

Plans by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to lower the speed limit on SH6 to 80 kmh or less have angered many motorists.

And yesterday, a petition calling for the plans to be ditched was handed in to National MPs Chris Bishop and Dr Nick Smith to be presented at parliament.

Earlier this year, New Zealand Road Transport Agency revealed plans to look at lowering speed restrictions to help prevent fatalities and injuries on the region’s roads.

New restrictions could see State Highway 6 restricted to 60kmh in some places.

Nelson woman Stephanie Drewery started a petition on social media which quickly gathered support.

National’s Transport spokesperson Chris Bishop says the petition shows that any changes needed to be evidence based.

“The answer to better road safety between Nelson and Blenheim is not these blanket speed reductions.

“It is increased investment in road improvements, including more passing lanes.

“National is not opposed to speed limit changes that are evidence-based and focused on the most dangerous stretches of road,” he says.

Between 2009 and 2018, 20 people died and 92 were seriously injured in crashes on State Highway 6 between Blenheim and Nelson.

Nineteen of these deaths were on 100km/h stretches of SH6 and 87 people were seriously injured were on the open road/ 100km/ hour sections of SH6.

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