From Yarra Council: Yarra to introduce 30km/h speed trial (5 September 2017)

Yarra Council continues to lead the way in improving road safety by implementing a trial of 30km/h speed limits in parts of Fitzroy and Collingwood.

The trial will run for 12 months and will take place in residential streets in the area bound by Alexandra Parade, Hoddle Street, Johnston Street and Nicholson Street (excluding Brunswick and Smith streets).

Yarra Mayor Cr Amanda Stone said the trial will provide Council with evidence to further consider the links between speed and road safety.

“As part of Council’s Safe Travel Strategy, we want to have no deaths or serious injuries on our roads by 2026,” Cr Stone said.

“This trial forms part of Council’s commitment to creating safer streets for all road users, particularly people who choose to walk or cycle,” she said.

“We have already seen the benefits of reducing the speed limit to 40km/h on all residential streets in Yarra. We now want to investigate whether 30km/h will provide even safer conditions, especially for vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists.

“We have worked in close collaboration with the Monash University Accident Research Centre in considering the merits of this trial, and referred to Victoria’s Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan, which recommends 30km/h as an appropriate speed to reduce road trauma in areas used by vulnerable road users.

“Since 2012, there have been over 100 crashes in the study area, with more than 90 per cent of those involving pedestrians, cyclists and motorbike riders.

“A report from the Monash University Accident Research Centre states that a pedestrian hit by a motor vehicle is twice as likely to survive if the vehicle is travelling at 30km/h rather than 40k/h.

“These findings add to an extensive weight of evidence that demonstrates the safety benefits of slower road speeds.

“There are also secondary benefits, including a potential increase in the rate of people who walk and cycle. We know that people are more likely to choose these healthier and more sustainable transport options when they feel safe and comfortable on our streets.

“A similar trial in the UK resulted in a 7% increase in walking trips and a 5% increase in cycling trips.

“Some people may be sceptical of a 30km/h speed limit and argue it will make traffic flow too slow. Our initial studies show that motorists would be delayed by less than 12 seconds per kilometre if they travelled 10kms slower at 30km/h.

“In light of this data, we believe the 30km/h trial can achieve a significant improvement in road safety with minimum impact to motorists.”

The 30km/h trial will be implemented in consultation with the local community and in collaboration with the Monash University Accident Research Centre, VicRoads and TAC.

The trial is expected to cost $170,000. Council has committed $25,000 to the trial in its 2017/18 budget and will seek additional funding from VicRoads and TAC through the Safe Travel Speeds in Local Streets program.

Council is aiming to implement the trial in 2018.

Find out more about the 30km/h speed trial.