Published: 8 June 2022
Hutt City Council has launched public engagement on the speed review for Marine Drive, around the Eastern Bays in Lower Hutt.
As part of the consent conditions under the Tupua Horo Nuku Eastern Bays shared path project, Hutt City Council is required to undertake a speed and safety review on Marine Drive.
Further to this the Government’s road safety strategy, 'Road to Zero - Te Ara Ki Ti Ora’, which aims to reduce deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand roads to Zero, also requires all councils to conduct a speed review programme. The Eastern Bays has been identified as a priority for speed management due to safety concerns.
The review has been completed and Hutt City Council is now consulting with the community on the proposed changes, which include a speed limit reduction from 70km/h to 50km/h between Whiorau Lowry Bay and Sunshine Bay as well as the installation of three new raised pedestrian crossings near bus shelters along Marine Drive.
Marine Drive is a very busy road which is narrow, has several blind corners and many areas with no space or barriers between the road edge and the drop-off to rocks on the shoreline. Currently the speed limit varies between the different sections of road, with 70km/h being the highest, and 50km/h the lowest. There have been public complaints about the safety of the road and driving speeds, as well as reported confusion due to the differing speed limits.
The crash history for this section of Marine Drive includes 42 reported crashes in the five-year period (2016-2020), of which 20 included injuries. Several of the crashes involved speed as a contributing factor.
Safe and Appropriate Speeds (SaAS) were assessed on Marine Drive based on factors such as road alignment, crash history, roadside hazard severity and existing road width following Waka Kotahi’s Speed Management Guidelines. The assessment confirmed that a consistent 50km/h speed limit on Marine Drive is required and has also informed the proposed locations for new pedestrian crossings.
"Hutt City Council is committed to ensuring that Marine Drive is a safe and accessible road for all users. Making the speed limit consistent will ensure that everyone who uses the road, whether they walk, cycle or drive, will be able to do so more safely than they can with the current speed limit" says Jon Kingsbury, Head of Transport at Hutt City Council.
"We have a proposed solution to address these safety concerns and support the speed reduction with pedestrian crossings at specific points around bus shelters along Marine Drive and we look forward to hearing from the community on other factors we should consider." says Kingsbury.
To view more details and provide feedback on the speed limit reduction and proposed locations for the pedestrian crossings, residents can visit the Council’s website at: hutt.city/ebspeedreview
The consultation will be open until 20 June 2022.