Image: The Inner West Council has been pushing for 40km/hr speed limits since 2020. Photo: City of Sydney
By ERIN MODARO
40km/hr speed limits could soon be implemented on all local roads throughout the Inner West as council continues to push Transport for NSW for lower limits. A motion was unanimously passed by Inner West at a recent council meeting calling for a letter to be sent to the Minister for Metropolitan Roads Natalie Ward, to ensure Transport for NSW changes speed limits.
The motion includes clauses to push NSW government to implement 40km/hr limits on all ‘local roads’ in the Inner West, and ‘investigate’ 30km/hr limits on roads with schools and other areas of high pedestrian and cyclist activity.
The push to lower speed limits began in 2020, when the council adopted the Inner West @40 key project, however many speed limits intended to be lowered to 40km/hr have not been changed by Transport for NSW 2 years later.
Inner West Councillor Pauline Lockie, who tabled the most recent motion, stated that as speed limits can only be addressed by Transport for NSW, “council is unable to proceed with reducing speed limits on our local roads, despite significant community support”.
She notes that Transport for NSW has cited a lack of funding and budget shortfalls for the delay in updating Inner West speed limits.
Transport for NSW said in a statement to City Hub that they support “in principle” the implementation of 40km/hr limits in area of high pedestrian activity, local traffic areas and “where appropriate signs can be installed and markings applied to create a safe 40km/hr speed environment”
“Transport for NSW is working with Inner West Council to develop a staged plan to deliver reduced speeds on local roads in the Inner West Council LGA.”
Community Group says 40 isn’t low enough
WalkSydney, an organisation pushing for 30km/hr speed limits across Sydney to improve pedestrian safety, says that the council should go beyond just lowering limits to 40.
“Research shows that a fatal injury to a pedestrian is at least twice as likely to occur in a crash at 40km/h than at 30km/h, and at slower speeds, drivers have more time to react to the unexpected” WalkSydney said.
“The international evidence is overwhelming that 30km/h speed limits are safer, make neighbourhoods more walkable and pleasant, and only marginally increase travel times.”
Bridget Foley, spokesperson for Safe-Streets-to-School Inner West said that lowering speed limits is vital to the safety of Inner West residents and children.
“Kids and parents want to be able to get to school by walking, scooting or bike riding in the Inner West, especially with their friends. To make this possible, we need safe speed limits on our streets.”
“A car travelling 30km/h and 1s reaction time will come to stop after 13 meters. A car travelling 50km/h with the same reaction time will still travel 50km/h at that point and needs another 27 meters to stop.”