Crash prompts calls for lower speed limit


A group of Lower Queen St residents want the 50kmh speed limit extended to McShane Rd to make their street safer, after another accident at the Richmond black spot last week.

Two people suffered minor to moderate injuries after their vehicles collided on Lower Queen St last Wednesday.

It is the latest in a long list of accidents that includes two fatal crashes on the busy stretch of road, and the residents say the best way to make it safer is to reduce the speed limit from 70kmh to 50kmh.

“There are so many cars and trucks on this road and they are going too fast, especially with all the pedestrians,” Rebecca Gibbs says. “It’s pretty much a residential area and they are still allowed to drive at 70kmh – it’s a little scary.”

Rebecca says that Lower Queen St also has a school and church within the 70kmh zone. A turn off into the Lower Queen St Health Centre can also cause traffic to backup and create problems, she says.

Another resident, Peter Field, who has lived on Lower Queen St for 19 years, says he can recall at least six serious accidents near his house. He says it has always been a dangerous

stretch of road but it has become a lot worse since the new traffic lights were installed.

“Drivers have a free left turn (into the Richmond Deviation) so they come up Lower Queen St to miss the lights on the State Highway,” Peter says.

“Now there’s so many trucks and cars going too fast and no footpaths.”

Peter says he has sent “several submissions” to the Tasman District Council asking for the 50kmh speed limit to be extended to “at least McShane Rd”, but has not had a response.

Maxwell Clark and Shona McBride have lived on Lower Queen St for “just over 20 years” and say they have also made submissions to council to lower the speed limit, from 70kmh to 50kmh from the A & P Showgrounds to Nelson Pine Industries.

“The traffic volume has increased immensely on this section of road in recent years,” Maxwell says.

“Now residents find it unsafe entering or exiting their properties in this area and school children are taking their lives in their hands when they walk or cycle to school.”

However, the council’s transportation manager Gary Clark says they are unlikely to change the speed limit in the near future because the 70kmh section of road is situated in a “semi-rural area”.

He says there is no “distinct change” in the road or the level of development in that section of the 70kmh zone that justifies lowering the speed limit to 50kmh.