Lower speed limits won't fix dangerous roads - board member

It's been claimed dropping speed limits can't be the solution to every problem on our roads, following a fatal bus crash at the weekend.

One person died and nine were injured, five children among them, when a speeding car coming around a blind corner crossed the centre line and slammed into a bus on Gowing Dr, in the eastern Auckland suburb of Meadowbank, on Saturday morning.

Auckland Transport said at the weekend it's working on a bylaw which would allow local authorities to introduce lower speed limits in high-risk areas across the city - but Meadowbank is not among the suburbs considered a priority.

Carmel Claridge of the Orakei Local Board told RadioLIVE on Monday speed limits won't fix the street's inherent problems.

"It's quite, in parts, a steep road... there are a number of quite tight bends, as it loops down through the neighbourhood; you've got neighbourhood streets intersecting with the road, so in some locations you've got blind corners."

She took her concerns about Gowing Dr to Auckland Transport about six months ago, after repeated reports of close-calls. She says people contacted the council-controlled organisation individually but didn't have any luck, so the Orakei Local Board got involved.

"[Auckland Transport] have been there," said Ms Claridge. "Their data doesn't align with anecdotal evidence of locals."

"It's incumbent on the individual to drive to the conditions... you can't just simply reducing speed limits to try and get a zero road toll, because everything's going to grind to a halt, isn't it?"

Speed bumps wouldn't be practical either, because it's a busy bus route. So what is the solution? She said the onus is on transport authorities to figure that out.

"There's a whole body of study on urban environments and how to encourage people to reduce their speed and to make motorists aware they are in an urban environment and there may be pedestrians on the road."

The Automobile Association has also criticised Auckland Transport's proposed 30km/h limits, saying 40km/h would be a good compromise.

Pedestrian and cycling groups have backed the proposals.


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