Submission on Draft City [of Sydney] Access Strategy and Action Plan

Item  9 – Draft City Access Strategy and Action Plan, Continuing the vision, proposed amendment to ACTION15 – reducing vehicle speeds.   

I am writing to ask the Council to reconsider and change the Draft Access Strategy and Action Plan – Continuing the Vision – Specifically “ Action number 15: Reducing vehicle speeds”, to prioritise the adoption of 30km/hr speed limit across the LGA starting in the City centre rather than a default 40km/hr.


 There is overwhelming evidence of the benefits of lower speed limits such as :

  1.  a significant reduction in serious injuries and death for people especially vulnerable road users involved in a vehicle crash
  2. enhanced mental and physical well-being by creating a more inviting and comfortable environment for walking and riding
  3. reduced noise and air pollution, and
  4. increased community livability and vibrancy as people can use streets to connect and engage in public life.

Safe speeds are fundamental to improving safety, saving lives, and preventing debilitating injuries.

By adopting a safe speed limit, the City of Sydney can prioritize the welfare and safety of its residents and create a more sustainable and people-centered urban environment.

WalkSydney – is a community group and the peak advocacy group working to make it easier, safer and more pleasant to walk in Sydney. WalkSydney’s vision is that “Walking will be convenient, accessible, safe and enjoyable for everyone.” We have three key asks:

– 30 km/hr urban default speed

– Improve signals for pedestrians – reducing waiting time, prioritising people and removing beg buttons

– Modernising road rules to prioritise people walking

The City of Sydney should be congratulated for its commitment to making Sydney a city prioritizing walking, cycling, and public transport. The City of Sydney has demonstrated leadership in transforming urban spaces and streets , notably with the successful revitalization of George Street.

The City has a vision of a car-free city with connected green corridors and ample space for people, this vision relies on a safe speed limit of 30km/hr. This vision was shaped by the extensive consultation during the development of Sustainable Sydney 2030–2050 and concluded that communities desired a more walkable city with reduced car presence and efficient, people-centered transport. Reducing speeds should be front and centre of the draft Access Strategy and Action plan which supports the Citys Sustainable Sydney 2030-2050 vision.

WalkSydney is urging the City to be more ambitious in reducing vehicle speeds and to adopt a 30km/hr speed limit instead of defaulting to 40km/hr. The Draft Access Strategy and Action Plan prioritizes collaboration with the NSW Government at the expense of achieving the desired community outcomes of reducing road trauma and improving health and people-centered urban environments.

WalkSydney considers TfNSW, responsible for managing speed limits across the state, has  shown little enthusiasm for discussing and implementing a 30 km/hr speed limit. This lukewarm approach is a barrier to reducing road trauma and improving streets for people, walking and riding bikes.

The City of Sydney Strategy  should set the bar higher and aim to overcome bureaucratic obstacles and a reluctance to rock the boat and push for ambitious changes that prioritize the safety and well-being of people (walking and riding) and places, ensuring that the community’s needs and aspirations for a car-free city with connected green corridors and ample space are prioritised.


Lena Huda 

President WalkSydney