Sydney makes huge speed limit move

The City of Sydney is lowering its general speed limit from 50km/h to 40km/h. Picture: Chris Southwood / City of Sydney
The City of Sydney is lowering its general speed limit from 50km/h to 40km/h. Picture: Chris Southwood / City of Sydney

Australia’s biggest city is drastically cutting speed limits in a new road safety push.

The City of Sydney will lower the speed limit from 50km/h to 40km/h on all of the roads within its council area, which takes in major inner-city suburbs like Glebe, Forest Lodge, Redfern and Alexandria.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore AO said the slower speed would expand safety for everyone who walks, rides and drives in the city.

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

“Currently, 75 per cent of local and regional roads in our area already have a 40km/h speed limit or lower. That’s up from just 5 per cent in 2004.

SYDNEY WEATHER
All major inner-city streets in Sydney will have a new 40km/h speed limit. Picture: NewsWire / Max Mason-Hubers

“This has been achieved through our work with the NSW government, which is funding the latest round of speed limit changes.

“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 placemaking.

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

“We will also continue to work with NSW Transport to reduce speed limits to 30km/h in the city centre and other high activity areas where there are lots of people are walking and riding.”

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore says the new limits will improve safety. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Ben Symons
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore says the new limits will improve safety. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Ben Symons

Signs warning drivers of the new limits would be installed in the coming weeks, she added.

The 40km/h limit applies to local and regional roads managed by the City of Sydney council.

Most motorways and state roads, which are the responsibility of the NSW government, will continue to have speed limits above the 40km/h limit.

The 2024 NSW road toll is up from 2023, with 179 lives lost so far.

In 2023, 163 lives were lost at this point in the year.