Speed limit reduction in parts of CBD

As part of ongoing efforts to improve pedestrian safety in the Tamworth CBD, the speed limit in a number of streets will be reduced to 40 km/h.
The move is in line with Roads and Maritime Services recommendations for High Pedestrian Activity Zones. It is the final stage of works for the zone, previous works included the new medians, line markings, new pedestrian crossings and lighting, and kerb blisters throughout the CBD.
The streets where the speed limit will change are:

Darling Street Bourke Street Fitzroy Street White Street  Smith Place 
Hill Street Roderick Street Peel Street Kable Avenue  Flyde Lane
Dowe Street Treloar Lane Byrnes Avenue    

 

The new 40km/h speed zones will come into effect on 17/02/2020. Signage and pavement markings will be installed over the next two weeks. 

Drivers are advised to take extra care and obey the new lower speed limit.

A High Pedestrian Activity Zone is created where there is a high number of pedestrian traffic commonly near shopping strips, railways stations and bus interchanges. It is done by installing a range of traffic calming devices on roadways to manage vehicle speed and then the formal reduction of the speed limit with the installation of 40km/h signage.

Q. Why were these streets chosen?

A. In recent years there has been an increase in pedestrian and traffic movements in the CBD. A particular spike occurred after the December 2015 opening of the Tamworth Regional Playground in Bicentennial Park in Kable Avenue.

Council started looking at ways of improving pedestrian safety and undertook traffic and pedestrian counts in CBD locations. The results showed that both Peel Street and Kable Avenue activity was at a level which met Roads and Maritime Services requirements for pedestrian crossings to be installed.

Traffic data was collected on every street in the CBD and it revealed for 85% of the time the speed vehicles used on all streets except Kable Avenue was 40km/h or less.

Rather than having multiple speed zones in various streets of the CBD It was considered that introducing a 40km/h speed limit for the whole CBD was a more consistent and practical approach to managing traffic.

Q. Is there a threshold for pedestrian activity which triggers the change?

A. NSW Roads and Maritime Services in its Guide to Traffic Management lists various requirements of pedestrian and traffic volumes for different types of pedestrian crossings. It says a pedestrian crossing is warranted where in each of three separate one hour periods in a typical day the pedestrian flow per hour crossing the road is greater than or equal to 30 and the vehicle flow through the site is greater than or equal to 500.

Q. Why wasn't Brisbane Street included in the changes?

A. Both Brisbane Street and Marius Street are State Roads managed by Roads and Maritime Services which form part of the Oxley Highway and have a speed limit of 50km/h. They both have traffic lights to manage traffic flows as well as safe crossing by pedestrians. The CBD streets which will have the speed limit reduced are classified as Local Roads which are managed by Council.