Strange speed limits and water discussed by Stratford councillors

2019-06-11 09:05:39

Oddities in a Taranaki council's speed bylaw mean some roads on one side of a railway line are 50 kilometres an hour - but 100kmh on the other, councillors have been told.

The unusual limits were highlighted at a meeting of the Stratford District Council's Policy and Services Committee on Tuesday when new bylaws for speed limits and water supply were discussed.

Steve Bowden, the council's roading asset manager, said a look at the current system had found many strange rules to speed limits.

"They were really odd and didn't make any sense," Bowden said.

Alongside the patches of 100kmh zones following railway tracks, many residential roads sat at 70kmh, he said. Most residential roads in New Zealand are 50kmh.

"It brought to our attention there are a few oddities in Stratford and other towns in the district."

The proposed new bylaw would see 50kmh speed limits in Stratford, Midhirst, Toko and other towns.

"It's just a matter of tidying up these loose ends," Bowden said.

"Let's hope we can save a life," Stratford Deputy Mayor Alan Jamieson added.

The meeting also discussed changes to the water supply bylaw and in particular issues for sports clubs during dry weather.

Speaking on behalf of the Stratford Avon Bowling Club and other groups, John Sextus asked that they be given a "dispensation" when water restrictions come in during droughts to protect their grounds.

But he was told that while the council was sympathetic its hands were tied by regional council rules.

"We're restrained by resource consent conditions," the council's director of assets, Victoria Araba, said.

Another speaker to address the council was Ngāti Ruanui environmental advisor Maria Cashmore, who spoke on behalf of the iwi.

She said iwi had many issues with the proposed bylaw, including fears of a similar situation to Havelock North's water contamination, but Araba stated these would have to be looked at by the Taranaki Regional Council.

Cashmore argued that the "bylaw must be aligned with central government", but Araba said this wasn't a matter for the district council.

"These are under Taranaki Regional Council jurisdiction."

Araba explained Stratford council is only responsible for the water that comes from the stream, to people's taps, not anything beforehand.

She said a lot of the points being made were not valid.

If approved, both bylaws will be adopted in July.

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