Speed bumps ‘dangerous’

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A car approaches one of the newly installed speed bumps on Melcombe St.
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New speed bumps between road-narrowing bulges on Melcombe St, Ashburton, have surprised motorists with how steep they are. Each of three bumps along the street, which runs parallel to State Highway 1 at Tinwald, have 25km/h recommended speed signs.

Motorists commenting on social media said the speed bumps have caught them out, with some saying they need to be painted to show how steep they are.

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi said they would be painted in about two weeks time. In the meantime they were “well delineated” with signage.

A resident posting on the Ashburton Notice Board Facebook page said he was going the recommended speed when he hit the one furtherest south, then ‘‘nearly ejected through the sunroof’’.

One commenter said the bumps would wreck low profile cars, unless they slowed down to about 10 km/h.

‘‘They need to paint them so you actually see them coming,’’ said another person.

‘‘They are dangerous and very hard to see how steep they are without any paint on them,’’ said another.

An NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi spokesperson said on Thursday the signage meant “there is no excuse for anyone to be surprised by them”.

The signs, with exclamation marks, alongside temporary road cones, would be removed when the speed bumps were painted with line marking in about two weeks’ time.

The spokesperson also disagreed the speed bumps would wreck low-profile cars.

‘‘One of our staff test drove the speed bumps last week and had no problems with his semi-sports style vehicle. People need to slow to 25km/h.”

The agency has installed the speed bumps as part of a wider highway upgrade to keep cyclists safe and discourage motorists using Melcombe St as a ‘‘rat-run’’ to avoid new traffic lights, due to open in April.