Community

Speed limits to be slashed on state highway

The NZTA is recommending the speed limit between Blenheim and Nelson be cut. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

The 100 km/h speed limit between Blenheim and Nelson is set to be cut to a maximum of 80 km/h.

Speed limits between Blenheim and Nelson should be cut to 80km/h or less permanently say road safety bosses.

And traffic bosses are backing the switch, recommending that it gets the go ahead.

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 will see State Highway 6 restricted to 60km/h in some places.

NZ Transport Agency director regional relationships Jim Harland confirmed the recommendation to the Marlborough Weekly.

“After carrying out a safety assessment we are proposing new speed limits along the route.

“We are currently checking back in with key stakeholders and finalising public consultation documents, and plan to formally consult on new speeds within the month of October,” he says.

The move follows several public events across the region to get public feedback.

Under recommended proposals, existing speeds would change just before the roundabout by Pak ‘n Save, dropping from 100 to 80 km/h for the majority of the 114km journey.

Communities are calling for the change, NZTA bosses say.

“We’ve been speaking with the community and local businesses, and other key organisations about how we can make this stretch of road safer

“One thing we heard loudly and clearly from the community was the need to act,” Jim 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.

Sixty-nine-year-old motorcyclist Christopher David Heads of Rai Valley died on Sunday after a crash with a car on Bulford Rd near SH6.

“We are investigating safety improvements, but one of the things we can do right now to prevent people from dying or being seriously injured is reduce speed limits, so they are safe and right for the road,” Jim says.

The consultation period will be open for four weeks before a final decision is made.

Any changes to the speed limits could be in place by the end of the year, Jim says.

The move coincides with a Marlborough Roads review last month asked for feedback on what people feel is a safe speed limit on local roads.

The call saw more than 300 submissions made, with a third in favour of more 50km/h areas.

Feedback from Marlburians on Council’s review of speed limits on local roads has seen more than 470 submissions received from across the district.

Marlborough Roads Manager Steve Murrin thanked those who took the time and effort to make a submission.

“It’s great to hear the views of those who gave us their suggestions and to see so many taking an active interest in road safety in Marlborough,” Steve says.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Send this to a friend