30km/h speed limits expand across Fitzroy and Collingwood

Yarra City Council has expanded its trial of 30km/h speed limits to suburban streets across Fitzroy and Collingwood.

From today, the new limit applies to all streets in the area other than Johnston Street, Nicholson Street, Hoddle Street, Alexandra Parade and Victoria Parade. 

The move follows successful trials of lower speed limits in a smaller area of the neighbourhood and is widely celebrated by road safety advocates and sustainable transport experts, 

Council figures show that 59% of local residents support 30km/h limits in their area.

“When traffic speeds are 30km/h or less, not only does the crash rate come down for all road users, but the streets feel different, less frantic and threatening, and more friendly and welcoming, especially for people on bikes,” says Alison McCormack, CEO of Bicycle Network. “Everybody wins.”

Lower speed limits encourage safer driving by improving vision and stopping time for those behind the wheel.

Research also shows that 30km/h speed limits have negligible impacts on travel times. In built-up areas, the speed of motor traffic is more likely to be determined by the frequency of intersections than speed limits.

The safety benefits for vulnerable road users are major, while the travel impacts are minor, experts say.

“Research shows that a person walking is at least twice as likely to be killed by a driver travelling at 40km/h than at 30km/h and that safer speed limits in urban areas have minimal impact on travel time,” says Yarra City Council Mayor, Edward Crossland.

Late last year, Yarra City Council voted unanimously in favour of expanding the trial, and the move now has approval from the Department of Transport and Planning.

The Victorian Government’s Speed Zoning Policy does not allow for 30km/h limits outside the scope of a trial, meaning that these settings can only be implemented on a case-by-case basis. These approvals can take many months.

In August last year, the NSW Government updated its speed zoning standards to recommend 30km/h limits on suitable streets.

This month’s report on the Parliamentary Inquiry into road safety for vulnerable road users recommended that the Victorian Government reviews its speed zoning guidelines a key priority.

For more on low-speed local streets, visit our campaign page.