Sydney CBD (Central Business District) is to get substantially expanded restricted speed zones for cars and other vehicles as the NSW Government imposes an enforceable 40km/h go-slow on drivers to curb pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
The dialling-down of inner city speed limits to the same level of school zones comes as transport authorities and the City of Sydney prepare for even more pedestrian and bus congestion as the CBD’s central artery of George St is dug up for the new light rail.
While many car drivers might joke they’d be happy just to make it to 40km/h in the inner city, the new restrictions do finally achieve a consistent single speed limit across the CBD, elimination the confusing mix of speeds that over time has ranged from 60km/h, 50km/h and 40/km/h.
According to transport authorities the new expanded zone not only “incorporates and addresses” the big dig for the light rail but also “the new bus routes which has a lot of pedestrian traffic.”
Minister for Roads, Duncan Gay, said the new limits will come into effect in April this year, stressing the reduction is needed to reduce pedestrian collisions.
“In the past ten years we’ve sadly seen 12 tragic deaths and more than 1400 injuries within this new larger speed zoned area,” Mr Gay said.
“For less than an extra minute of travel time for motorists, we’re doubling the chance of survival for pedestrians in Sydney CBD. This is why we’re installing sensible speed limits in an area where lots of pedestrians are out and about each day – to protect vulnerable road users and save lives.”
Drivers time are however getting a bit of a grace period to “get used to the speed limit changes” with red-light speed cameras that fall within the new 40km/h area being put into “warning mode for lower-end speed offences for four weeks.”
According to CBD Coordinator General Marg Prendergast, there’s nothing too special about the 40km/h zones that are now routine across the state.
“There are more than 150 locations in NSW where 40km/h limits are in place in high pedestrian areas including North Sydney and Parramatta CBD as well as regional centres such as Tamworth and Albury – this is a common and effective measure for busy areas,” Ms Prendergast said.
The boundaries for the new expanded 40km/h zone in the CBD will be:
- North: by Alfred Street and the existing 40km/h in The Rocks area
- East: by Macquarie Street, College Street (to Liverpool Street) and Elizabeth Street (to Eddy Avenue)
- South: by Railway Square
- West: by Quay Street, including the Paddy’s Market precinct.
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