I welcome the NSW Government's announcement that the speed limit in the Sydney CBD will be reduced to 40km/h. This change has the potential to save lives, and something I have been advocating for a long time.
The majority of trips being made in our city centre are on foot. But pedestrians are very vulnerable road users, so even a slight reduction in vehicle speed can significantly reduce the severity and consequences of a collision.
While the number of pedestrian killed and injured in the city centre has been steadily falling, recent tragic accidents are a stark reminder that there is still more to be done.
The City first endorsed a proposal to reduce speed limits in high pedestrian activity areas to 40km/h in 2004 - however this was rejected by the then Roads and Traffic Authority.
Since then, the City has continued to push for the introduction of the 40km/h speed limit:
- In 2007, the City renewed its calls to reduce speed limits in the city centre following a study into pedestrian safety and transport conducted by acclaimed international urban planner Jan Gehl;
- In 2009, the City called on the NSW Government to introduce a flat 40km/h zone across the local government area at a parliamentary inquiry into pedestrian safety;
- Later that year, the City held a major public forum on integrated transport, where it again called for a 40km/h speed limit;
- In 2010, the City and NSW Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding on transport in the city centre, which included an agreement to reduce the speed limit to 40km/h; and
- In 2012, the City released its transport blueprint, Connecting Our City, which proposed a number of traffic changes to improve pedestrian safety - including 40km/h speed limits.
We will work with the NSW Government to implement the new zone and ensure all road users are informed of the changes.
For more details on the changes being made, visit www.transport.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/improving-pedestrian-safety-cbd-new-40kmh-speed-limit-zone