State Highway 30 Speed Safety

LRCA Submits that SH30 Speed Limits be lowered for Community Safety

* Introduction

* LRCA Submission

* Take Part in NZTA's Consultation Process closes 5pm Wednesday 7 July 21

* Supporting Comments

* Register your Support with LRCA

* James Hamill's SH30 Speed Limit Review


* Update from Waka Kotahi 4 August 2021.

Community engagement on safer speeds for State Highway 30 (SH30) between Tikitere (Rotorua) and Whakatāne closed on 7 July. We’d like to thank everyone who made a submission, attended a drop-in session or shared any concerns they have about this stretch of state highway.

We’re close to completing a review of all the feedback received and preparing a summary. We’ll share the engagement summary report with you as soon as it’s ready.

As changing speed limits is a legal process, there are numerous steps to follow when considering changing them. One of the steps is formal consultation. After we complete the review of the engagement feedback, and if it is recommended to propose new speed limits, we will formally consult on our recommendations. As part of this we will share a detailed proposal and ask if there are any additional factors we need to consider.

Ensuring speed limits are safe and appropriate is one of the best things we can do to prevent people being killed or seriously injured on our roads. However, any changes in speed limits doesn’t mean we can’t make further improvements to the road.

Our priority is to make this state highway safer as soon as possible so that everyone living on and using it can get where they are going safely.

Kylie Ruegg (she/her)

Senior Advisor, Communications and Engagement

Te Waka Kōtuia | Engagement and Partnerships


* Introduction

LRCA submission that SH30 speed limits should be lowered to 60kph from Moose Lodge to Hongi’s Track, to reverse the dramatic increase in serious road accidents, has gained wide support.

Our website has experienced a doubling of traffic and already more than 100 people have registered their support and added their comments backing the submission and reinforcing the need for change.

You can register your support for our submission to LRCA and be kept up to date with the consultation process here or

See NZTA Consultation Process below to convey your support directly to Waka Kotahi NZTA.


* LRCA Submission

LRCA submits that the SH30 speed limits should be lowered to 60kph from Moose Lodge to the Eastern end of Hongi’s Track to mitigate the significant dangers faced by road users. This will reflect the current road signage speed recommendations and the safety needs of the populated areas.

LRCA welcomes the opportunity to make this submission to Rotorua Lakes Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s timely review of Rotorua district speed limits. The accident statistics for SH30 between Tikitere and Hongi’s track show an alarming increase in serious accidents in recent years with 13 serious accidents and 4 deaths in the last 3 and a bit years.

Unlike other main lake side roads in the district the road along the shore of east Rotoiti stands out as an exception which has not had it’s speed limits lowered through it’s dangerous and populated areas to improve safety.

Currently the speed limit for State Highway 30 is 100kph between Moose Lodge and Ruato Bay, 80kph from Ruato Bay to Tapuaeharuru Bay at the eastern end of Rotoiti and then 100kph through Hongi’s Track.

Road users of State Highway 30 between Moose Lodge and Hongi’s Track face numerous road and roadside dangers.

Where there is limited population multiple hazards exist - such as sharp corners, rockfalls, slippery road in icy and wet conditions, unforgiving borders either through large drop offs directly into the lake or into substantial tree trunks. The highway is peppered with signs warning that corners / windy road should be driven at 45kph, 55kph and 65kph, that it is slippery in icy or wet conditions and that drivers should watch out for rockfalls and pedestrians.

The road warning signs in these areas make it clear that driving at 60kph or less is advised and driving at 100kph is dangerous!

In the populated areas, difficult roadside access to the highway, an assortment of sports and community organisations including a junior school, less manoeuvrable vehicles such as large truck & trailer units and vehicles with boats and caravans in tow, and pedestrians and drivers who may not be familiar with highway’s dangers all combine to create a lethal cocktail!

Again 60kph is far more appropriate than the current 80kph to protect the safety of the public who should expect to enjoy the beauty of the lake and its community in safety.

The 2 serious accidents in the last month, one in which a person was killed and another in which a truck and trailer rolled blocking the road for 16hrs, serve to reinforce the need for change.

View full Submission here.


Take Part in NZTA's Consultation Process

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advise that public engagement on the speed review will start from Wednesday 9 June to 5pm Wednesday 7 July 2021.

NZTA Community engagement opportunities still available.

You can provide your feedback on SH 30 speed limits direct to NZTA by either:

* Emailing bayofplenty.speed.reviews@nzta.govt.nz

* Or by Commenting on NZTA's interactive map

Feedback closes at 5pm, Wednesday 7 July 2021.

The feedback will be used to decide if a speed limit change is the best thing to do to improve road safety, where new speed limits could begin or end, and if any other safety improvements might be needed.

If it is recommended to propose new speed limits, Waka Kotahi will formally consult with the community on their recommendations. As part of this they will share a detailed proposal and ask you if there are any additional factors they need to consider.

NZTA SH30 Tikitere to Whakatāne speed review Project Description

Email here setting out the process from Waka Kotahi.

 

Typical Supporting Comments From Those Who Have Registered Their Support

"As a teacher for years I have watched our kids run across the road to get to the kura on the main road. Trucks speed through here, cars overtake on the corners, its difficult to turn into our driveway. Its ridiculous and its time for a change. For our kids so they can bike and walk safely”.

"Trucks need to slow down around schools and sports facilities ! This would be a welcomed change to keep our communities and kids safe".

"This is an matter to resolve. As well as the speed limit changes appropriate for the windy sections of the highway, there are issues on straight sections where dangerous overtaking occurs frequently, e.g. the section in front of Te Whakareia Marae at western end of Gisborne Point, where speeding overtaking endangers motorists, motor cyclists and pedestrians. This should have no passing markings given it is a residential area".

"It is of upmost importance that this speed limit be dropped to 60kph as area has become more populated, access to and from properties have very limited visibility, school in area with young children, families are using footpath to walk and access local dairy and reserves plus many towing vehicles some very large accessing boat ramps. There is also an increase of cyclists using highways. Huge trucks use this highway with many far exceeding current speed limit".

“80kph is far too fast on this road to be walking grand kids along state highway 30 lake side area foot paths - 60kph would be much safer and welcomed‘!

“Speed limit needs to come down, i feel it is not even safe for my young children to walk on the footpath beside the road to the dairy at the moment with the speed the trucks/cars are driving this main state highway. also very dangerous for people pulling into driveways etc made worse with boats in summer period”.

“Please lower the speed limit I live at Ruato Bay”.

“We absolutely need the speed limit to be reduced to 60km p/hr. Too many risks and potential tragedies waiting to happen”.

“Protect our children and tamariki and elderly and community”.

“Drop the speed limit to 60 km/h from Moose Lodge to the Hinehopu Golf Club. Ngā mihi”.

“In the last 20 years the speeds that cars reach outside my home in Ruato Bay. I've seen many cars hit the sign in the corner of the bay, the latest being last month. Cars overtaking cars at high speeds. Big truck and trailers reaching high speeds. Its become really dangerous for the residents and visitors who use the rest area as well”.

“Lower speed limit to 60”.

“Need the signs up NOW!! The current speed zone us so dangerous for our koeke, tamariki and mokopuna”.

“It really should be reduced to 80kph from Hongis Track through to Rotoma, and then 60kph through Rotoma. How many more accidents and deaths will it take??”

“I think it should be lowered to 70 or 80 from Hongis track right through to Rotoma & Rotoma decreased to 60”.

“I support a lower speed limit of 60-70 km from Moose Lodge to just beyond Morehu Loop Road to mitigate the dangers faced by road users and residents within this zone”.

“I think State Highway 30 from Hauparu Bay, Lake Rotoiti through to Marathi Rd, Lake Rotoma should be 60 kph. Travelling at the recommended speed is not safe. Speaking personally, Morehu Loop Rd is a problem exiting or entering because of the highway traffic. There is also the issue of traffic noise. At highway speeds, tire and road surface become dominant at making noise. Changing the speed limit to 60 kph will save lives and prevent accidents. Traffic noise will dramatically decrease for all the residents along the route. The benefits outweigh the few extra minutes added to a trip”.

“We would like to see the speed reduced from the Eastern end of Hongi's Track, past Morehu Rd and all the way to Rotoma. As residents of Morehu Rd, it is always dangerous trying to drive into our street, especially from the Rotoma direction when traffic from the opposite direction use that section of SH 30 to overtake at speeds in excess of 100 kpH”.

“Its a dangerous road for my family and young son to try and cross to get to the lake for a swim. 80km is way too fast“.

“We have been very concerned about the speed around the school (across the road from our property)for some years, and believe that the speed limit should be lowered considerably. We are delighted to support LRCA's submission to lower the speed limit”.

“Pulling out on to the highway from our house is terrifying. Trucks come through at night well over the speed limit”.

“Please make the changes to the speed limit asap”

“We support the "No overtaking" as well”.

“This is long overdue...I have had several vehicles end up in my fence from speeding”.

“Please consider reducing this proposed speed limit reduction right until the 70km area of Lake Rotoma. Living in Morehu Road the traffic speeds up as soon as they get out of Hongis track and our neighbours have witnessed many passing over 100km along this part of the road, including trucks and trailers with boats. If this isn't possible please put double yellow lines through both entrances to Morehu Road. Trying to get into our road from Rotoma end is tricky as their is an incline and cars are difficult to see. We have to pull over with little space to park on the edge of the road. It's very dangerous. Thanks”

“STRONGLY support this submission”.

“The road is clearly dangerous, please action the reduced speed for everyone's sake”.

“Its long overdue”.

“I have separately made a submission but i endorse this urgently hoped for change. There are some very dangerous spots between the start of Gisborne Point and Tamatea St especially. The ever increasing number of huge trucks and hotted up cars driven by doughnut doing hoons , all at speeds well over the current 80 kph , is frightening. The scary part is that there are many bends , so to cross the road is not for the faint hearted. Oncoming cars are on top of you in the blink of an eye.Children are at great risk especially crossing the road to go to Emery's store which is situated on a sharp bend’.

“I fully support the 60km/hr restriction. We have tight corners at Hauparu Bay and cars and trucks are driving far too fast in this location. We have had a car fail to take the corner and smash through our roadside gate. NZTA has had to erect huge crash barriers on either side of our property. You cannot safely ride a bike or walk on the road because of the speeding traffic and difficult corners and lack of shoulders’.

“SH 32 between Rotorua and Paengaroa has had road safety improvement's and speed reduction. SH 30 needs the same attention to reduce the injury and loss of life that is occurring”.

“As permanent residents at 1349AState Highway 30 Lake Rotoiti for 22years and as family holiday makers there since 1948, we fully support this submission. A speed radar detector installed outside our gate would instantly prove that no matter what speed restriction exists most traffic exceeds any signs’.

“5 or 7 years ago, without any reference to local ratepayers the signs around Rotoiti were changed overnight from 70 km to 80 km. We believe the accident rate increased almost immediately. The noise and overpowering threat from large vehicles certainly did”.

“Speed limits past schools must be decreased and are planned to take place, let's lead and look after our children”.

“Please reduce the speed limit. My son will soon be biking on these footpaths to Kohanga/Kura and I want him protected as best as we can by reducing the speed limit on the road he will take to kohanga & kura”.

“Lower the speed”

“My father was most recently killed on this stretch of road although by the time I submit this form there may be others . Roads designed for slower cars and trucks with blind corners and poor spacing are now obsolete with the speed limit be the only realistically adjustable factor”.

“Recent ,and previous, Rotoma deaths and injuries show speeds must be reduced on our winding, narrow lakeside roads”.

“Put speed cameras in place”.

“In addition to other submissions on reduction of speed limits around Eastern Lake Rotoiti, I wish to submit my concern at the lack of road edge barriers in a number of places where substantial danger exists if due to speed etc, vehicles were to run off or be forced off the road. Such areas are:

 

Just past the Moose lodge gates (to the east), where there is a very significant drop, that would almost certainly be fatal if a vehicle left the road.

Around the next hairpin (to the east) down towards Hauparu bay, same outcome.

Between Hauparu and Ruato Bay, where the vertical drop is very close to the winding road, through relatively small trees and foliage, is directly into the lake which is 20+ meters deep, same outcome.

After Ruato bay, to the east, the final section of road before the 80K sign at the beginning of Punawhakareia, where there is the same steep drop off into the lake.

Various sections of SH 30 after Komuhumuhu until Tamatea street (Hinehopu), where the road is close to the lake edge, the most vulnerable being the sharp turn just after (to the east) of Emery store, that is well above the lake.

 

Running off the road in these areas would have the same outcome as the fatal accident where 2 persons drowned at Lake Rotoma.

 

In addition to hopefully successful speed reduction submissions of the Lake Rotoiti Community Association, (which I have supported), installation of appropriate roadside barriers is in my view essential to enhance road safety and reduction of fatalities, both pedestrian and motorists. Ideally, these should be between the highway and the footpaths (where they exist), as pedestrians are exceptionally vulnerable due to the proximity of most footpaths to the road. It is common to be seriously buffeted with the wind that speeding trucks create.

 

I strongly submit that the barriers (in addition to speed reduction measures) I am recommending on this very busy state highway is justifiable under numerous measures:

value of human life and medical care;

cost of vehicle repairs;

cost of road repairs:

cost of salvage of vehicles:

cost of emergency and traffic management services;

interruption due to accidents of traffic flows and inability to attend appointments east and west of Rotoiti, (airport, medical appointments, meetings, picking up school kids etc), commercial and trade services and cost of navigating lengthy diversion around minor roads on north side of lake after serious accidents.

 

I also contend that barriers are far more justifiable, and likely to be far more cost beneficial than the many kilometres of ‘cheese cutter’ barriers that were installed on various sections of perfectly ‘straight and flat’ state highways in the Waikato, protecting relatively minor road side ditches, compared to the steep drop-offs highlighted above”.

“We have previously, with no success, requested no engine braking signage in Hauparu Bay.   This type of signage is in numerous places throughout the Bay of Plenty.  With the reduced speed limits engine braking should not be so necessary and we feel the request is reasonable”.

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