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Sydney to adopt more 40km/h local speed limits

SLOW DOWN: The City of Sydney will broaden the adoption of 40km/h speed zones on additional ‘regional and local roads’

Slower speed limits coming for City of Sydney; further reductions to 30km/h proposed


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9 Jul 2024

THE City of Sydney will adopt a 40km/h speed limit in local areas in a move it says will make the roads safer for everyone who walks, rides, and drives – and even slower limits are in the pipeline.


The 40km/h change will apply to “regional and local roads” that currently have a default speed limit of 50km/h, including for suburbs such as Beaconsfield, Forest Lodge, Glebe, and Waterloo.


Some sections of roads with current 50km/h limits in suburbs including Alexandria, Annandale, Redfern, Woolloomooloo, and Zetland will also have the speed limit reduced to 40km/h.


Signage advising of the new speed limits is expected to be installed “over the coming weeks” and will apply to all local and regional roads managed by the City of Sydney.


State and motorway roads managed by Transport for NSW will continue to offer speed limits of 50km/h or higher (as signposted), though City of Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore said lower limits for these areas are also a priority.


“We will also continue to work with Transport for NSW to reduce speed limits to 30km/h in the city centre and other high activity areas where there are lots of people walking and riding,” she said.


“Studies have shown that the survival rates for people hit by a vehicle drastically improve at lower speeds like 40km/h.


“Currently, 75 per cent of local and regional roads in our area already have a 40km/h speed limit or lower. That’s up from just five per cent in 2004. This has been achieved through our work with the NSW Government, which is funding the latest round of speed limit changes.”


Ms Moore said the change in speed limit is also expected to benefit noise and exhaust pollution levels in the area.


“When people drive at safer speeds it reduces the number of crashes and their severity, improves safety for people walking and riding and helps to support better place-making,” she added.


“Not only will our streets be safer as a result of these important changes, they’ll be quieter and have less exhaust emissions.”


And if you think it’s only Sydney that is moving to slow you down, think again.


The City of Melbourne already has 40km/h, 30km/h and even 20km/h limits across its municipality because “safe, walkable streets support the knowledge economy, which is dependent on face-to-face interaction and the sharing of ideas and information”.


Within the CBD, Little streets (Flinders Lane, Little Collins Street, Little Bourke Street and Little Lonsdale Street) now have a posted speed limit of 20km/h with 40km/h limits on all other roads in the local Melbourne area (including the CBD, Domain Parklands, East Melbourne, Jolimont, North Melbourne, Parkville, South Yarra, and West Melbourne).


Parts of Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart and Perth CBDs also have a posted 40km/h speed limit, with Adelaide saying it “aims to reduce the speed limit on arterial and some council roads near schools to 40km/h during specified times on weekdays” throughout the 2024-25 financial year.

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