Skip to content

Grey County council defeats Rob Roy speed limit reduction

Attempts by Grey Highlands mayor and deputy mayor to lower speed limits near Rob Roy were defeated by county council
Grey County council debates the extension of a 60 km/hr zone in the Grey Highlands community of Rob Roy. A graphic shows the elevation changes of county road 31.

A move to lower speed limits in the small Grey Highlands community of Rob Rob may not have passed, but it sure slowed down a county council meeting.

The move to extend a 60 km/hr zone in the small community of Rob Roy was defeated by Grey County council on Feb. 22. This was the second time in as many meetings the topic was up for debate.

Ultimately, council voted against separate moves by Grey Highlands Deputy Mayor Dane Nielsen and Mayor Paul McQueen to extend a lower speed limit zone in Rob Roy. The current configuration will remain in place. County staff’s recommendation to leave the existing 60 km/hr zone as is held sway over the majority of council.

The council discussion and delegation from Rob Roy resident Peter MacGowan on the issue consumed well over an hour at the meeting – the longest non-budget discussion in some time at county council.

Speaking on behalf of a number of Rob Roy residents, who were in the public galleries, MacGowan asked county council to consider extending the existing 60 km/hr zone in Rob Roy. He suggested the lower speed limit should be put in place at the top of the hills on either side of the village on Grey County Road 31.

“The speeding problem at Rob Roy is quite severe,” he said.

MacGowan called the extension of the 60 km/hr zone a “cost-effective, financially prudent and expedient manner to address a significant public safety issue.”

“It merely involves the movement of a few signs,” he said.

A similar request was rejected by county council two weeks earlier during its committee of the whole session. The issue was back on the county council table on Feb. 22 with the county’s traffic and parking bylaw on the agenda for some updates.

Grey Highlands Deputy Mayor Dane Nielsen sought to amend the bylaw to accommodate the request from the Rob Roy residents.

The relatively straightforward request, turned out to be anything but as it required multiple resolutions and amendments and nearly became a procedural quagmire when West Grey Mayor Kevin Eccles questioned if Nielsen’s move was an amendment to the bylaw or a reconsideration of council’s earlier decision. Clerk Tara Warder ultimately ruled that the bylaw was open to being amended at the meeting.

Nielsen said, in the two weeks since the committee of the whole debate on the matter, that he had changed his mind and now supported the extended 60 km/hr zone. Nielsen visited the area and observed the traffic in the interim period and said having the lower speed zone in place at the top of the two hills made the most sense.

“You have an opportunity for drivers to slow down before entering this stretch,” he said.

In a 65-28 recorded vote, council defeated Nielsen’s amendment. Immediately after the vote, McQueen moved an amendment that would have seen a 70 km/hr zone implemented on the section of road Nielsen had sought to extend the 60 km/hr zone.

“It’s making people aware. That is the key thing here,” said McQueen, who argued that a lower limit on the road before the 60 km/hr zone in the village would have drivers slowing down ahead of time.

McQueen’s amendment was also defeated.


Reader Feedback

About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
Read more