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Safer speed rollout on local roads

40 km/h speed limit installation  

Merri-bek City Council has received approval from the Department of Transport and Planning to reduce all local roads with a 50 km/h speed limit to 40 km/h.  
 
We are making this change to ensure everyone in Merri-bek can walk, ride, and drive safely on our streets.

Project update

We have completed stages 1 - 3 of the rollout. This covers all areas south of Bell Street, and East of Sydney Road.

We are currently working on the rollout of stage 4, which covers all areas from Bell Street to Boundary Road in the suburb of Pascoe Vale.

 

Frequently asked questions (FAQ's)

  • Merri-bek is committed to making roads safer for everyone. Lower speed limits are proven to decrease crash risk, reduce road trauma and increase survivability for any person involved in such occurrences.

    The continued rollout of 40 km/h speed limits on local roads to create safer, quieter streets is a key action in Council's Transport Strategy 2019 and is closely aligned with the Victorian Government’s Towards Zero Road Safety Strategy.

  • We have already introduced 40 km/h speed limits on local roads for large parts of Brunswick, Brunswick East, Brunswick West as well as smaller areas of Pascoe Vale South, Coburg, and Fawkner. You can view these areas on the 40 km/h maps below under the attachment section.

    We have also reduced the speed limit to 50 km/h or lower on all Council collector and major roads.

    We will now be continuing the rollout of 40 km/h speed limits for all remaining local roads with a 50 km/h speed limit across Merri-bek.

  • The rollout will be completed between November 2023 and June 2024.

  • The rollout will be delivered in 6 stages, with the first being south of Moreland Road. Each stage will take approximately 1 month to complete before progressing onto the next. You can view the rollout maps for each stage in the FAQ below.

    The rollout will mainly use 40 Area signs to create 40 Area Speed Zones. The new speed limit will be enforceable by Victoria Police once the signs are installed.

    We do not anticipate any significant impact to residents, businesses, and road users during the installation.

  • Only roads classified as “local” in Council’s Transport Strategy 2019 with a 50 km/h speed limit will have the speed limit reduced to 40 km/h.

    Speed limits on roads classified as collector, major, and arterial will remain unchanged as part of this project. However, Council supports reduced speed limits on arterial roads near places like schools, hospitals, and activity centres.

    You can view the road classifications here. Any road not shown on the road hierarchy map is classified as local.

    40 km/h Rollout Stage Maps

  • An area speed zone is a speed limit that applies to all roads within a network. Area speed limit signs are placed at each entry and exit. The area speed limit applies once you pass a “40 Area” sign and remains until you pass an “End 40 Area” sign. Where required, reminder signs can be placed beyond the entry point to remind drivers of the speed limit. This means speed limit signs are not required in every street in the area, instead only at the entry and exits to the area.

    40 Area Speed Zone signs

  • Whilst only Victoria Police can enforce speed limits, Council will monitor vehicle speeds through traffic speed surveys and work with Victoria Police where required. Council does not receive revenue from speed infringements.

  • We will be completing traffic volume and speed surveys for various streets within each stage, before and after the speed change. The surveys will be used to monitor driver behaviour and the effectiveness of the speed change. Longer term monitoring will also use crash statistics.

  • For the five-year period to December 2022, on Merri-bek controlled roads there were 677 reported crashes, 260 involving a person walking or riding, 210 resulting in serious injury and 2 fatalities.

    Speed contributes significantly to the severity of road crashes and resulting injuries. Research has shown vehicle speed and the probability of fatal injury for a vulnerable road user (pedestrian or cyclist), have a direct relationship. A study found that by reducing the speed limit from 50 km/h to 40 km/h, the chance of a fatal injury is reduced by more than half (from 80% to 26%)*.

    Lower speed limits also give drivers more time to react and avoid a crash. And for those crashes that still do occur, the severity and resulting injuries are lower.

    * Source: Probability of fatal injury in relation to vehicle speed ('Improving Pedestrian Safety,' Curtin-Monash Accident Research Centre).

  • Alongside reducing the likelihood and severity of crashes, the speed reduction will make it easier for people of all ages and abilities to use our local roads, whether they choose to walk, ride, or drive. We know lower speed limits make it easier for people walking to cross the road and people feel more comfortable riding when the speed limit is lower.

  • The speed reduction will have minimal impact to travel times as local roads typically make up only a small portion of each journey.

    Longer driving trips will generally take place on collector, major or arterial roads which are not affected by this speed reduction. Any delays drivers may experience will be outweighed by the safety and amenity benefits of the lower speed limit.

  • All roads in Merri-bek are classified into one of four categories based on their function, characteristics and role within the road network. The road classification is then used to inform decisions such as speed limits, traffic calming installations and road user prioritisation, amongst others.

    The four road classifications are:
    Arterial - These roads are controlled by the Department of Transport and Planning and form the principal routes for the regional movement of people and goods, typically between councils. These roads generally have a 60 km/h speed limit, but in some circumstances can be higher or lower. Examples of arterial roads are Moreland Road, Bell Street and Boundary Road.


    Major – These roads are our responsibility and they support local through travel and access to key centres within Merri-bek. These roads all have a 50 km/h speed limit with the exception of a few being 40 km/h. Examples of major roads are Blyth Street, Coonans Road and Glenroy Road.


    Collector – These roads are also our responsibility and they provide links between arterial roads and local roads. These roads predominately have a 50 km/h speed limit. Examples of collector roads are Hope Street, Munro Street and Jukes Road.


    Local – The main function of these roads is to provide access to and from properties. Local roads are not designed to support through traffic. These are the roads being reduced to 40 km/h. Examples of local roads are Albert Street, Barrow Street and Middle Street.

    You can view a map of the road classifications here. Any road not shown on the road hierarchy map is classified as local.

  • The rollout of 40 km/h speed limits will have no impact to train and tram services. We do not anticipate any significant impact to the bus service, however we have notified all affected bus operators.

    Where required, emergency services are able to exceed the speed limit and are not impacted by the speed change.

Attachments

 

If you require further information, please contact Council’s Transport Unit, on 9240 1111 or by emailing transport@merri-bek.vic.gov.au.