Govt rejects call for consistent 60km/h limit through park lands

The State Government has rejected an Adelaide City Council push to increase speed limits on all roads through the park lands to a consistent 60 kilometres per hour.

City council staff wrote to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) last month requesting the speed change as part of the “Driver’s Month” initiative, which encourages motorists to return to the CBD to boost trade.

The move was touted a congestion-easing measure to allow easier access into and out of the city and to remove confusion regarding inconsistent speed limits on park lands roads.

While speed limits on some park lands thoroughfares such as Bartels Road are already set at 60 km/h, others, such as Hutt Road, are set at 50km/h.

In response to a question on notice at Tuesday’s council meeting, Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor said staff had written to the Department in October but were informed that the Government would not support a consistent 60km/h speed limit on all park lands roads.

She said the Department advised that congestion was the main factor for delays on roads through the park lands, not vehicle speeds, and changes to speed limits “would be unlikely to change driver behaviour or result in reduced travel times”.

“The posted speed limits on roads through the park lands form a continuation of the speed limits on roads outside the park lands fringe,” Verschoor said, citing the Department’s response.

“The length of the roads through the Adelaide park lands do not generally meet the minimum length of road required for a change of speed limit as per the DIT’s speed limit guidelines.”

InDaily contacted central ward councillor Jessy Khera, who spearheaded the “Driver’s Month” campaign, for comment.

It comes after the RAA backed a push by Walking SA last year to cut the default city speed limit from 50km/h to 40km/h, after an analysis found nearly a fifth of the state’s collisions involving pedestrians occured in the Adelaide City Council area. 

The council has allocated approximately $30,000 on the Driver’s Month campaign, rebranded to “Park & Play” following criticism that the initiative favoured carbon-emitting travel over active forms of transport such as cycling and walking.

Verschoor said during this month, the council had discounted on-street parking fees by 25 per cent on the Park Adelaide app, conducted lotteries giving anyone who pays for on-street parking the chance to win $100 to spend at city businesses and offered $2 parking in certain council-owned UParks on nights and weekends when booked online.

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‘SAVE LIVES’: Call for 60km/h zone at road black spot

LONG term plans to fix a dangerous stretch of the Bruxner Hwy continue to remain under wraps as local residents continue calling for a 60km/h zone be installed in the interim, to “save lives”.

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin said concerned locals continue to approach her, requesting the 80km/h zone be dropped to 60km before and after the notorious Alphadale crossroads on the Bruxner Hwy.

READ MORE: ‘Road needs to be fixed before more fatalities occur’

Ballina resident and regular road user, Matthew Felsch was among the residents who contacted Ms Saffin.

“To save lives and further injury the section of highway between Ballina Road at Bruxner Hwy and Alphadale Road intersection to Goonellabah should be reduced to 60 kilometres per hour,” the Ballina resident said.

“This section of approximately 1.4 kilometres requires this speed reduction to mitigate accidents until alternative engineering plans can be implemented.

“There is limited visibility at a standstill while turning from Cowlong Road or Alphadale Roads entering Ballina Road or Bruxner Highway, when through traffic is at 80km/h or more, reaction times are greatly reduced.”

MORE NEWS: Crashes, dead koalas, abuse on ‘awful’ stretch of road

Mr Felsch said he was professional driver, trained through the Australian Regular Army to operate roadtrains and high performance cars as a VIP driver conveying politicians and generals.

“The government has a responsibility to micromanage our road infrastructure regarding driver behaviour, hence the states and territories provide highway patrol officers who are employed to police,” he said.

“This intersection is becoming a state black spot, and the speed limit in the area needs to be reduced.”

REVEALED: New plan for dangerous stretch of Bruxner Hwy

When asked whether transport for NSW would consider Ms Saffin’s recent proposal to completely realign the Bruxner Hwy to bypass the crossroads, a spokesman for the regional Transport and Roads Minister Paul Toole reiterated the department had “already identified and carried out safety improvements in this area and is investigating options for further work.”

MORE ROAD NEWS: Latest from around the Northern Rivers

Ms Saffin said Minister Toole was aware of calls for the short-term improvement of a 60km zone and the lack of action was not good enough.

“It is not as fast as it needs be, but given its lack of attention meant in the past political times, I shall endeavour to catch up,” Ms Saffin said.

She called the reply from Transport for NSW “a safe and standard bureaucratic response”.

“Actions speak louder than words and Transport for NSW are quite engaged in this issue,” she said.

“A Transport for NSW representative, Lismore City Council Traffic Advisory Committee representatives and myself will undertake an inspection and site visit quite soon.”

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