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Lumsden, Southland, speed review outcome announced

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has set a new permanent speed limit on SH94, Lumsden, in Southland, to take effect in a month’s time from Friday, 16 October.

In Lumsden the existing 50 km/hour speed limit in the town will be extended 300 metres closer to Gore on the eastern side.

Strong growth in visitor numbers to both Queenstown and Milford Sound Piopiotahi in the last five years has driven increasing traffic volumes on this section of highway. In 2018, the average daily traffic count between Gore and Lumsden was 2,630, up 16% on 2014. These rises and the associated road safety risk motivated several residents to ask for an extended lower speed limit on the eastern side of the town.

The change comes after public consultation in 2019 with 48 submissions largely supportive of the extended 50km/h area.

The new speed limit aims to help prevent people from being killed or seriously injured, says Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships, Jim Harland.

“No crash resulting in death or serious injury is acceptable, so it’s important we take every opportunity to address the risk. Fewer crashes will also mean fewer closures, which will increase the reliability of this important transport route,” he says.

Southland District Council Mayor Gary Tong is also happy with the outcome of the speed review.

“The community raised a safety concern which resulted in a collaborative response.  As communities change, locals can identify issues and it pays to listen to those concerns and act on them as necessary.  This is a prime example of everyone working together and doing their best to improve safety,” says Mr Tong.

New speed signs will be installed ahead of the change taking legal effect on Friday, 16 October.

This speed review is aligned to New Zealand’s Road Safety Strategy, Road to Zero 2020–2030 and a programme of work delivering safety improvements, including speed management, on our highest risk intersections and roads across New Zealand. Through these safety improvements, Waka Kotahi aims to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

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