A raft of speed limit changes prepared for the Te Puna and Maketu areas have been put on hold by the Western Bay of Plenty District Council.
The reason given by deputy mayor Paul Thomas is because the speed limit changes, which are part of a rolling bylaw revue, clash with a statutory bylaw review required under the Local Government Act.
The changes were to be approved at a council meeting late last month and come into effect on August 1, but they have now been delayed by months, says Paul.
“I guess it’s like a lot of things, we get most things right but occasionally we have a little hiccup in the system, and this is just one.
“I don’t believe waiting a few months is of any concern. It’s just a shame it wasn’t tied into the five year process instead of starting six months ago.”
The speed limit changes were to be introduced as part of a rolling bylaw review the district council undertakes, reviewing a fifth of the district every year. But every five years Paul says the Local Government Act also requires the district council to undertake a review of all its bylaws.
“Occasionally we get that hiccup at the end of the fifth year. We are going to just have to wait a few months now until it has been reviewed.
“I don’t believe it’s a major issue. It’s a shame its happened. It’s affecting half a dozen roads that you are aware of.
The bylaw review will be started at the council’s strategy and policy committee, says district secretary Fleur Sweeney.
“In some ways the report that went to council was just a timing issue,” says Fleur.
“It went at the same time as we were about to do a review. The councillors thought it was more sensible to put it up with all the scheduled speed limits at the same time.”
“We just didn’t make the connect that the bylaw review would be happening at the same time – so rather than do it twice. We are always looking to try and do things in the most economic fashion.”
The shelved recommendations are that the speed limit be changed from 80km/h to 70km/h on:
Te Puna Road from the current 80/50 threshold near James Road to Tangitu Road.
Tangitu Road from the intersection of Te Puna Road to the intersection of Waikaraka Road.
Lochhead Road, Oikimoke Road.
That an urban traffic area be declared and the speed limit be changed from 80km/h to 50km/h on:
Tangitu Road from the intersection Waikaraka of Road to the end of the Road.
Pitua Road, Waikaraka Road, Kuka Road, Waipa Road, Rarapua Road.
That the speed limit be changed from 100 km/h to 70 km/h on Arawa Avenue from the intersection with Wilson Road to the existing 100/50kmh change point, and Bledisloe Park Road.
That the Maketu urban traffic area and 50 km/h speed limit on Maketu Road be extended by approximately 150 metres to a point 780 metres from Wilson Road North.
That the speed limit on Welcome Bay Road from 260m east of Ranginui Road to SH2 be reduced from 100 km/h to 80 km/h and the section between Asher Road and including Te Kura Kaupapa school be reduced to 60km/h.
That the speed limit be changed from 100 km/h to 50 km/h on Whataroa Road from SH36 to a point 2.2 km from SH29.
That the speed limit on the internal public use road sections of the TECT All Terrain Park be reduced from 100 km/h to 50 km/h.
That the speed limit on Commerce Lane along the length of Commerce Lane from Jocelyn Street to King Street be reduced from 50kph to 30kph.
That the schedule to the Speed Limits Bylaw 2005 be amended accordingly.