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

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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.

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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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