Speed limits to be lowered around Tauranga schools

New speed limits will be introduced during drop off and pick up times outside 21 schools in Tauranga. Photo: Bob Tulloch/SunLive.

Lower speed limits will be introduced around some schools and marae in Tauranga.

A speed limit of 40km/h during drop off and pick up will be introduced outside 21 schools across the city. These will be in addition to the 16 schools that already have a variable limit in place.

The 40km/h limit will begin 30 mins before school starts then revert to the street’s normal limit and begin again for 20 minutes after school ends.

The speed limit changes for the schools will be rolled out as funding allows and was prioritised based on risk.

Arataki School is the highest priority, followed by Mount Maunganui College, then Omanu School.

The changes are part of Tauranga City Council’s speed management plan that was adopted at a meeting on Monday.

Council city centre infrastructure lead Shawn Geard says the council has done a risk assessment of the schools based on their road frontages and where key access points are.

The council used community feedback and police crash data from the areas around the city’s 45 schools, along with a risk assessments done by the New Zealand Transport Agency in 2020 to decide which schools to add the variable limits to and prioritise the timing of the rollout.

Commission chair Anne Tolley. Photo: Alex Cairns/Bay of Plenty Times.

At the meeting, Commission chair Anne Tolley asked if having a variable limit on Cameron Road outside Tauranga Primary School and Tauranga Boys’ College would affect traffic flow because she had had comments that it was flowing better after the recent changes.

The $92m Cameron Road stage one project added bus lanes, cycleways, streetscaping and changed the layout of the road from Harington St to 17th Ave.

Geard replied it was only a 10km/h difference and the data council showed the average speed during those times wasn’t much higher than 40km/h.

There was a “fair experience” of people running red lights at the signalised crossings outside those schools so the hope was the additional variable speed limits signs would reiterate the limits to drivers, he said.

Based on feedback from Waimapu Marae in Hairini, Waimapu Pa Road extending 200m east from the marae will have a permanent 40km/h zone.

Feedback from Waikari and Hungahungatoroa Marae in Matapihi will also see a permanent 40km/h zone on Waikari Road, Hungahungatoroa Road and Matapihi Road (between Waikari Road and Hungahungatoroa Road).

The temporary 30km/h speed limit in Tauranga’s CBD between McLean Street and Second Ave will also become permanent.

The Tauranga CBD roads in yellow will stay 30km/h permanently. Image: Tauranga City Council.

Council’s head of transport Nic Johansson says the desire to manage speed limits at high-risk locations is about improving safety on local roads.

“Our local schools have told us that increased traffic and people driving vehicles at high speeds is a significant risk to student safety,” he says in a statement.

“While pedestrian fatalities aren’t a common occurrence, accidents do happen, and speed is a factor in the likelihood and outcome.

“Lower speeds allow for shorter sight and braking distances which is important in complex, busy situations such as school pick-up and drop-off times.”

The speed management plan was a requirement of the previous government, the coalition government made this optional but the council opted to continue developing the plan in February.

In April, the council consulted with the community to gauge support for a reduction in speed limits outside schools, some marae, and in the city centre.

More than 1000 people did a survey with more than 71 per cent in favour of reduced speed limits outside schools. More than 52 per cent were in favour of making the temporary 30km/h limit in the city centre permanent.

The reduced speed limits, with signs showing when the speed limits are operational, will be introduced over the next few months.

The 21 schools that will get a variable speed limit

  • Arataki School
  • Mount Maunganui College
  • Omanu School
  • Pāpāmoa College
  • Tauranga Primary School
  • Tauranga Waldorf School
  • Tahatai Coast School
  • Tauranga Girls' College
  • Gate Pa School
  • Greerton Village School
  • Ōtūmoetai College
  • Ōtūmoetai Intermediate
  • Mt Maunganui Intermediate
  • Te Akau ki Pāpāmoa Primary School
  • Tauranga Boys' College
  • Merivale School
  • Mount Maunganui Primary School
  • Te Manawa ō Pāpāmoa School
  • Bellevue School (Tauranga)
  • Tauranga Adventist School
  • Te Kura o Matapihi

LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air.


Smug like always

Posted on 11-06-2024 08:38 | By an_alias

Are there any that arent already this way ?
Head in the sand boys

All For It

Posted on 11-06-2024 09:06 | By Yadick

The reduced speed limit outside schools is a great idea and needs to be heavily policed. Red light camera's outside schools with lights and double the fine EVERYWHERE to $300.00.
I'm glad the 30km speed limit in the city is permanent. Good move, all for it.

Light controlled speed limits??

Posted on 11-06-2024 09:21 | By Paul W2

I don't have any problems with this as long as they use electronic speed limit signs and don't just hope that everyone knows what the limits are and what times.


Posted on 11-06-2024 11:53 | By Let's get real

Totally agree with the lowering of speed outside the schools, but it needs enforcement on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it will do nothing for the extremely poor driving abilities of the parents who are, in the most part, totally unaware of anything else around them at pick-up and drop-off times at the schools.
Indicators and observation are not optional around schools. I know that you have excited children aboard, but your main concern must be on what you're doing and not how the day has been.
Having an enforced a speed limit in a dead city centre is ridiculous, but another way to spend more rates for signage, road marking and probably more raised traffic calming measures. I don't believe that I have ever driven around those dreary streets at more than 30kph in the past anyway, so this is just another wasted effort.

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