What we are doing
We are conducting a trial of a 30km/h area-wide speed limit in the northern areas of Fitzroy and Collingwood.
The formal trial period was September 2018 to September 2019. Council deemed the trial a success and resolved to keep the speed limit in place. The speed limit within the area is still considered a trial because the Speed Zoning Policy does not allow for 30km/h speed limits other than as a trial.
The evaluation of this trial and similar trials contribute to the body of evidence to inform future changes in this policy.
The trial area is the neighbourhood streets bounded by Alexandra Parade, Johnston Street, Hoddle Street and Nicholson Street (excluding Brunswick Street and Smith street).
We’re committed to reducing speeds in our streets, because we know it creates livelier, safer, healthier streets we can all enjoy, whether we’re walking, driving or riding.
The trial is about testing a new approach to achieving safer speeds in our community. If it works here, it can be applied to other areas in Melbourne, Victoria and Australia.
We believe we can encourage people to travel at safer speeds through community understanding, acknowledgement and action. That we, together, can assess the evidence, see the value, and achieve real change.
The alternative? A traditional model of forcing change through infrastructure like speed bumps. That costs money – a significant amount of your money – and we believe that can be avoided. This means reaching many more communities for the equivalent cost of engineered solutions.
In 2017, when we asked residents what they thought about 30km/h speed limits, opinions were divided.
A little more than half of the people surveyed opposed 30km/h. They were concerned it will be too slow, that it was unnecessary and wouldn’t improve safety, and that it was revenue-raising for the Council.
Those who supported 30km/h said they believed the change would improve safety, be great for the community, reduce traffic and be good for kids.
We worked to respond to these views and acknowledge the concerns. We have worked to respond to questions and issues raised, and will continue to do so. Check out our 30km/h myths and trial FAQs to see.
Elsewhere in the world, community support for 30km/h speed limits has always increased after implementation. The same occurred here.
We surveyed residents immediately before the trial, in August 2018, and again in August 2019 to see how the trial had changed people's views.
We found that community support for 30km/h speed limits rose from 44% to 51% with the trial.
30km/h is about improving safety and amenity for pedestrians and cyclists, who are over-represented in our crash statistics. Ninety per cent of crash incidents in the trial area involved pedestrians, cyclists or motorbike riders, and this trend is reflected across Yarra.
Frequently Asked Questions
We understand people have questions about the trial – about why we’re doing it, how it will be evaluated, and why we need a trial at all. Take a look at our responses to some of the community’s frequently asked questions.
Where is the trial taking place?
The trial area is the neighbourhood streets bounded by Alexandra Parade, Johnston Street, Hoddle Street and Nicholson Street (excluding Brunswick Street and Smith Street).
When is the trial?
The formal trial period was September 2018 to September 2019. The trial was evaluated and was shown to be successful as it resulted in reduced speeds and improved community support. Council resolved to continue the trial and the speed limit is still in place.
Why was this area chosen? Was there a particular speeding problem or safety issue there?
We had to start somewhere. The trial area has some areas where drivers are already travelling at lower speeds and others where they are not. The area also has a variety of residential and other uses and a variety of different road users, so it makes a good test case.
Between 2012 and 2017, there were more than 100 crashes in the trial area, resulting in more than 30 serious injuries – ninety percent of these crashes involved pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders. There’s some improvement to be made here.
Was the community consulted about this change before it was implemented?
We conducted research about attitudes to 30km/h speed limits in May 2017, and we received input from many people in the local and broader communities. Most people had an opinion, either for or against.
We knew this was a bold idea that not everyone would agree with. But this wasn't a project we decided to do on a whim - it took a lot of research, planning and thought. We know the evidence is there, and that other communities support it, so we think it is worth testing.
We always welcome feedback and you can leave comments or questions on our Get Involved page, or you can join the conversation on Facebook.
If all the research showed us that 30km/h is the safer speed, why didn't we just implement it? Why did we need a trial?
It’s true that extensive research shows us that 30km/h will be good for the community. The trial is about testing a new way of implementing a new speed limit – through community acknowledgement and commitment, rather than costly infrastructure. Plus, this hadn't been done in Australia before, and we needed to test the water.
We hoped that the trial would demonstrate a more cost-effective way for communities to make their streets safer and more welcoming.
Is the speed limit enforced?
The speed limit is enforced the same as any other speed limit. This includes speed cameras, spot checks and highway patrol. This is conducted by Victoria Police as necessary
Isn’t this just a revenue raising exercise for the Council?
Yarra City Council does not receive money from speeding fines.
And the priority with this trial is not to issue fines. Instead we want to bring about change by communicating the safety and social benefits of travelling at lower speeds to the community.
Council is committed to projects that increase the safety and liveability of our community. We’re doing this trial because it’s an innovative, Australian-first way to achieve just that.
What’s next, banning cars altogether?
Neither the Council, nor the trial, is against cars on our streets. Rather, we’re pro people being able to go about their lives in our public spaces safely, however they choose to travel.
At Yarra, we promote walking, cycling and using public transport, as sustainable modes of transport, but this trial isn’t about discouraging people from driving it’s about making the streets safer for everyone.
What happened after the trial?
Following the formal trial period, and evaluation of the data collected, the Council resolved on 19 December 2019 to maintain the 30km/h speed limit, so it's still in place
How will I know when I’m on a 30km/h street?
The 30 km/h area is signed just like every other local area, with 30 AREA signs.