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After 200 crashes, plan to lower speeds on SH58

News from RNZ
The Transport Agency is asking for feedback on a proposal to lower the speed limit on a dangerous stretch of road near Wellington. It wants to lower the speed limit to 80 kilometres an hour on State Highway 58 between the Hutt Valley and Kapiti Coast.

In the 10 years to July 2017 there were more than 200 crashes on the highway, killing four people and seriously injuring 17.

The Transport Agency wants to drop the speed limit from 100 to 80 km/h between State Highway 2 and Bradey Road.

Plans were also underway to straighten dangerous curves, improve intersections, and install a median barrier.

The changes were expected to reduce deaths and serious injuries on the road by 65 percent over five years.

It was one of the higher risk sections of highway across New Zealand, the Transport Agency’s assistant manager for Wellington Mark Owen said.

The consultation was also focused on the side roads managed by Porirua City Council, where the proposal was to lower the speed limit to 60km/h.

“A lot of these roads, they’re not designed for 100km/h. A lot of them are windy and narrow, and so the speed limit that’s on there at the moment is up to 100km/h – we expect people to drive to the conditions.”

Whether or not people would be annoyed to see the speed limit drop would depend on them Mr Owen said. He was hoping for widespread support, given it would make the road much safer for motorists.

“We’re really keen to get feedback from all sectors of the community, particularly people that use that corridor often,” he said.

Two open days will be held at the Pauatahanui School on Saturday 24 March and Tuesday 27 March.