City of Launceston Speed Limit Changes
The City of Launceston recently conducted an extensive review of speed limits across our city to ensure they align with the goals outlined in the Launceston Transport Strategy. This strategy aims to create a city that is not only more liveable but also healthier and better connected.
During this review, our focus was on areas within the city where there is a considerable amount of interaction between vehicles and pedestrians. We also took into account crash records, which showed that there are a high number of incidents occurring in these areas. Through this process, we identified several roads that warranted a reduction in speed limits to better match their usage.
Feedback was received from the public during late April/early May 2023 on the proposed speed limit changes. This feedback, along with proposed changes, was submitted to the Transport Commission in July 2023 for review and consideration.
The Council received an official directive from the Transport Commission to implement the proposed speed limit changes on the following roads:
Reductions from 60km/h to 50km/h:
- Bathurst Street
- Wellington Street - between William and Howick Streets
- High Street - between David and Arthur streets
- Invermay Road between Forster Street and Vermont Road
- Elphin Road, Penquite Road and Hoblers Bridge Road, near the Newstead Shopping Centre.
Reductions from 50km/h to 40km/h:
- Launceston CBD area bordered by Cimitiere, York, Wellington and Tamar Streets
- Mowbray Shopping Centre, Invermay Road between Vermont Road and Haig Street
- Kings Meadows shopping centre, Hobart Road between Riseley Street and Opossum Road.
The Council anticipates that the initial phase of these changes will commence in late September 2023, gradually implementing the changes to ensure sufficient signage and effective communications are developed and implemented.
Rolling updates - The following speed limit reductions have now been introduced:
October 2, 2023: High Street
October 4, 2023: Kings Meadows shopping precinct
October 5, 2023: Newstead shopping precinct
October 10, 2023: Invermay Road
October 10, 2023: Mowbray shopping precinct
October 23 - CBD
October 23 - Wellington St
October 23 - Bathurst St
It is important to stress the importance of these speed limit reductions, particularly when it comes to safeguarding our vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians. The speed of vehicles is a crucial factor in creating a safer environment where interactions between different road users can occur with reduced risk. These changes represent a significant step forward towards safer roads for all of our community members.
For additional details regarding the process involved in reviewing speed limit changes, please visit the Department of State Growth's website - Speed Limit Changes - Transport Services
What are the considerations when lowering speed limits?
Council considers many different aspects when reviewing speed limits, including:
- safety concerns
- crash history
- road conditions
- road use
- how many people use the road
- whether the road is used by vulnerable users such as cyclists and pedestrians
- number of intersections and accesses
Council also speaks with the community and key stakeholders such as Tasmania Police, neighbouring councils and the RACT as to whether they support a speed limit change.
What will be the impact on travel times?
Journey times for some motorists will increase very marginally.
The City Of Launceston is putting people first. The safety of pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists comes above all else. Sometimes that could mean that our trips could take a handful of seconds longer.
Travelling at 40kmh, the increase in travel time over a distance of one kilometer compared with driving at 50kmh is about 18 seconds.
| Vehicle speed
||Travel time over 1km
Will these changes improve safety?
Yes. The aim of these speed limit reductions is to reduce the number of people being injured on our roads.
There are also a number of social and financial benefits.
Statistics show that social benefits by saving $4.54 million per life saved and $0.5m per injury prevention. These figures represent the cost crashes have on society through the reduced quality of life for survivors, reduced economic productivity and medical and other resource costs.
Risk of pedestrian death as a function of vehicle impact speed.
(Improving Pedestrian Safety, Curtain-Monash Accident Research Centre)
The probability of a fatality with a pedestrian or cyclist, for example, in a collision with a motor vehicle at 30kmh is about 10 per cent.
- At 40kmh, that probability increases to about 40 per cent
- At 50kmh, that increases to 80 per cent.
The benefits of lower limits equates to a 20 per cent reduction in speed equals a 44 per cent reduction in kinetic energy.
Do other cities have lower speed limits?
Yes, many cities right across Australia already have a 40kmh speed limit across their CBD. For example, Hobart already has a 40kmh speed limit along the waterfront and Battery Point area, as well as other popular dining areas. Hobart is also going through a process of lowering the speed limits in its CBD to improve pedestrian safety.
In many other areas across the country, lower speed limits have been implemented to improve safety for all road users.