Franklin backs lower speeds near schools

Publish Date : 09 Nov 2023
AT Speeds

A 30 percent drop in fatalities where Auckland Transport has reduced speed limits has seen Franklin Local Board support Katoa, Ka Ora – the draft Auckland Speed Management Plan.

Giving its feedback, the board focused its response on supporting reviews near schools that do not have current or proposed safe speed limits, including Pukekohe North, Sandspit Road, View Road, and Waiuku Primary.

Board chair Angela Fulljames says members raised areas of specific local concern.

“They have been diligent in raising resident’s concerns. We’ve suggested areas to look at as this work continues, including Beachlands Road between Wakelin Road and Bell Road, to capture where children cross to school, given parents often raise safety concerns.”

Another speed cut supported was on Whitford-Maraetai Rd from the Beachlands roundabout to the 50kph zone in Maraetai to enable a bus stop at Te Puru and a pedestrian crossing for Maraetai School Road.

“Speed limits are contentious, with many people complaining, but just as many calling for them, especially around schools. We know children don’t always have a developed road sense and keeping them safe must be the priority,” Fulljames says.

There was general support for permanent reductions inside the Pukekohe and Waiuku town centres, to extend a variable Valley School zone in Pukekohe further along East Street, and to request a reduction around Waiuku Primary.

“We also supported communities like Kawakawa Bay, where residents have asked for a permanent speed reduction. The remoteness and quietness can mean people use the roads as walkways and sometimes drivers can be unprepared for that. The least people can do is slow down when they visit.”

A call was also made for AT to urgently proceed with an intersection speed zone at the Whitford-Maraetai Road and Clifton Road landfill intersection, noting that engineering treatments would be needed to improve safety.

In the Waiuku subdivision there was support for a request to extend the 60kmh Glenbrook Beach Road speed limit near the Dunsmuir Road intersection past the bend, and for changes proposed for Karioitahi, where the board called for a strategy to address the impacts of vehicles on pedestrian safety, the environment and heritage values.

It also called for engineering solutions to be considered alongside speed reductions, particularly on rural roads and others with poor quality surfaces.

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