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Whangateau residents battle to reduce speeds

Posted at 3:19pm Monday 01 Jul, 2019

Police have increased patrols and allocated a speed camera van to Whangateau, following an outpouring of community concern about motorists speeding through the settlement.

Police have completed a mapping exercise for the van, which has identified suitable sites for it to be located in both Whangateau and Leigh. It is expected to be in the area regularly from this month.

Meanwhile, Auckland Transport has confirmed it will install five road markings between Tramcar Bay through to the end of the Whangateau settlement to warn motorists to slow down. The markings will consist of the word “slow” written in large letters on a red background.  

The Whangateau Residents & Ratepayers Association is also working with Auckland Council to erect a community sign that will alert motorists to keep their speed down.

Association secretary Leesa Irving says pupils at Matakana and Leigh primary schools will be invited to suggest wording for the sign to make it something unique for the village. It will likely be located at the western entrance to Whangateau, near Ashton Road.   

The anti-speeding measures follow a community meeting in March at the Whangateau Hall. About 50 residents turned up to voice their concerns about people speeding through the village and risking serious accidents.

The most popular solutions proposed to combat the problem were increased use of speed cameras and a greater police presence.

Ms Irving is hopeful that an electronic sign that indicates the speed motorists are travelling can also be installed on Leigh Road and that the speed on the road can be reduced to 80km/h for the entire length of the road. Moves are afoot to advance both initiatives.  

Ms Irving says community concerns over speeding reflect the fact that locals are often called upon to rescue motorists who have ploughed into ditches or “come a cropper” in other ways due to excessive speed.

She adds that Whangateau has a caravan park, a dementia care facility, a sports ground and an events centre. People using these facilities are regularly crossing the road and are at risk of being struck by speeding motorists, she says.

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