Speed along Wairere Drive, between Arthur Porter Drive and Pukete Road, will be reduced from 80km/h to 60km/h.
The decision to reduce the speed Limit on Wairere Drive was made at a meeting of the Council on 16 December. It was made following a recommendation to the Council by the Infrastructure Operations Committee which was that the Council approves keeping the 80km/h speed limit.
The speed limit reduction relates to a resource consent obtained by Foodstuffs that requires traffic lights to be installed at the intersection of Wairere Drive and Karewa Place, allowing a right turn into (but not out of) Karewa Place from Wairere Drive.
For the traffic lights to operate safely and to meet the legal requirements for speed limits, a 1.3km portion of Wairere Drive - from Arthur Porter Drive to Pukete Road – was recommended to be reduced to 60km/h.
Of 781 public submissions received on the issue throughout September, approximately 80% of respondents did not support a lower speed. Many people believed reducing the speed limit for this section would make traffic worse on this section of Wairere Drive.
However, available data reviewed by Council shows the average travelling speed on this section of Wairere Drive is 66km/h. Robyn Denton, Hamilton City Council’s City Transportation Unit Manager, said reducing the speed limit to 60km/h will have minimal impact on travel time through this area.
“While we understand the views shared by the community, this speed limit reduction will have safety benefits for all road users,” said Denton.
“It underscores our commitment to providing Hamiltonians with an effective and safe transport network.”
The staff recommendation to lower the speed limit was made on the basis that:
- the existing mean operating speeds on the section of Wairere Drive have an average of 66km/h and are within the recommended speeds required for a 60km/h speed limit, as set out in the Speed Limits Rule;
- any reduction in travel speeds will have a positive impact on the outcome of any crash that occurs in this area; and
- the change in speed limit is not expected to have any significant impact on the traffic flows in this area – noting that it is an area of high growth and traffic volumes are continuing to grow as a result of development inside Te Rapa North, Rotokauri North and nearby Waikato District Council areas.
The speed limit will change at some point in the future, in conjunction with the construction of the traffic signals at the intersection of Karewa Place and Wairere Drive.