A long-awaited footpath and road safety improvements outside Dairy Flat School have finally been fully-funded and should be in place by the end of July.
The plans will make it safer to drop off and pick up students in and around the school grounds, with 18 new parking spaces on the school side of the highway and “no stopping” lines painted on the north side of the road, to stop children crossing the highway to and from parked cars.
Rodney Local Board members voted to allocate an extra $100,000 to the previously approved $440,000 budget to install a footpath and reconfigured parking on Dairy Flat Highway at its meeting on May 19.
Members heard from Auckland Transport (AT) that the extra money was needed from the Board’s transport targeted rate fund because the lowest priced tender received had been over budget at $478,800. There would also be professional services required “including arboricultural monitoring during construction, a post-construction road safety audit, and designer input/design amendments as required”, estimated as needing an extra $13,000.
Dairy Flat member Louise Johnston has long campaigned for safety improvements outside the school, which is sited almost opposite the entrance to the Redvale landfill.
“This needs to get done, kids are walking along that highway every day,” she said. “I’m a bit disappointed the speed limit hasn’t been reduced, it would be good if that was done. Why should city kids be more protected than rural ones?”
Members mentioned government plans to standardise speed limits outside schools, which Transport Minister Michael Wood recently announced would mean a maximum speed of 60km/h outside rural schools, with implementation between 2024 and 2030. The speed limit outside Dairy Flat School is currently variable, from 80km/h down to 60km/h at drop-off and pick-up times. Road markings around the speed limit signs will be repainted and enhanced.
AT warned that the proposed July time frame could change “due to unforeseen events such as bad weather and poor ground conditions”.