Sydney traffic to slow under new 40km/h default speed limit

The default speed limit on a number of Sydney’s streets is being reduced to 40km/h.

Motorists can expect the new speed limit signage to be installed in the coming weeks, the City of Sydney said on Tuesday.

Only the local and regional roads under the City of Sydney’s jurisdiction will undergo the speed limit change.

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The change means 75 per cent of the state’s local and regional roads are now down to a 40km/h speed limit or lower — up from just 5 per cent in 2004.

“The changes will apply to the remaining regional and local roads that currently have a default speed limit of 50km/h in Glebe, Forest Lodge, Beaconsfield and Waterloo,” the council said.

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

“Temporary electronic signs will be positioned at key locations to alert motorists to the new 40km/h speed changes for a minimum of two weeks.”

Permanent signs that reflect the new speed limits are expected to be installed in the coming weeks.

Most motorways and state roads are the responsibility of the NSW Government, and will not be impacted by the new 40km/h limit.

But in the city centre, local and regional roads will eventually become even slower for motorists, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“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 on Tuesday.

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

“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.

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

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