INDEPENDENT NEWS

Safe New Speed Limits For Stratford District School Zones From Monday 6 May

Published: Wed 1 May 2024 09:35 AM
Stratford District Council (SDC) is lowering the speed zones around ten local schools from Monday 6 May 2024 to make it safer for tamariki and rangatahi to get to their kura and back home again.
Stephen Bowden, SDC Roading Asset Manager, says setting lower speed limits around schools creates a safer environment for children, school staff, and families, and can help to build confidence in kids that want to start biking and walking to schools.
“It might seem like a bit of an inconvenience to motorists, but it’ll have a big positive impact on children. We’ve heard from parents who aren’t confident letting their kids try biking or scootering to school, and lowering speed limits around kura can help to give a bit of reassurance. As a driver, I think that’s worth an extra moment in the car,” says Stephen.
The introduction of new school zone speed limits was adopted by SDC in 2023 and came after consultation with the school communities involved, affected residents, and the wider community as part of council’s Interim Speed Management Plan consultation.The fixed school zone speed limits from Monday 6 May 2024 are:Avon School - 30km/h (from 50km/h)Midhirst School, Erin Street and Denmark Terrace - 30km/h (from 50km/h)Stratford Primary School - 30km/h (from 40km/h variable)Stratford High School - 30km/h (from 50km/h)St Joseph’s Primary School - 30km/h (from 50km/h)St Mary’s Diocesan School, Pembroke Road West frontage - 30km/h (from 50km/h)Pembroke School, along the crossroad approaches - 60km/h (from 100km/h)Makahu School, Mangaehu Road frontage - 30km/h (from 100km/h)Marco School, Marco Road frontage - 60km/h (from 100km/h)Ngaere School, Cheal Road frontage - 60km/h (from 100km/h)
The new speed limits are fixed, meaning that drivers will need to observe the limits 24 hours a day. This keeps school students, staff, and families safe on the streets outside of drop-off and pickup times.
“Many families are taking advantage of school playgrounds and facilities outside of school hours and it’s great to know that these community spaces will be a little safer 24/7,” says Stephen.
Variable speed limits, which lower speeds during school drop-off and pickup times only, would have come at a much higher cost for ratepayers, with the price for a single electronic variable speed sign, reaching up to $10,000.
Councillors made the decision to move ahead with fixed school zone speed limits last year before the change in government. Recently, the coalition government announced their intention to have a new Land Transport Rule in place by the end of 2024 that may make it a requirement to have variable speed limits in place for school zones. The government will seek public submissions later this year and council will consider any implications for Stratford district when more information becomes available.

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