The speed limit has been permanently reduced to 40 kilometres an hour through four towns in the South-West following a successful review headed by a local Technical Working Group.
Four local towns in the South-West – Boyanup, Donnybrook, Balingup and Bridgetown – experience considerable road train traffic with up to 6,000 vehicles passing through the town centres daily.
This trial was initiated following a petition and requests from local shires, local residents, businesses and local Members of Parliament to lower the existing speed limit on the towns’ main streets.
Overseen by a Technical Working Group chaired by Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray, the trial was designed to help Main Roads develop an effective speed signing plan, using conventional speed signs, to achieve compliance with a 40kmh speed limit.
The group, comprising representatives from local governments, Main Roads and the Road Safety Commission, met in early August 2020 to review data collected throughout the trial and community feedback about the changes.
There has been strong community support for the reduced speed limits as well as a high level of compliance.
The new speed limit reduction will help improve driver and pedestrian safety as well as reduce road trauma.
The McGowan Government allocated more than $2 billion in the 2020-21 State Budget to upgrade and support regional roads.
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“We are striving to strike the right balance between the needs of drivers and the needs of pedestrians.
“We listened to the community on what they wanted to see happen with the speed limit and delivered on it.
“These regional towns are accessed by an average of 6,000 vehicles per day. I’m pleased that pedestrian and road user safety will be improved with the permanent change to this speed limit.”
As stated by Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts:
“These trials came about after I was approached by local member Mick Murray who organised for me to meet with local shire representatives.
“The objective was to slow drivers down through the four regional town centres, and that is what has been achieved.
“Slower speed limits should not be seen as an inconvenience.
“They affect travel times by one or two minutes at the most, but ensure a greater quality of life for residents and visitors of these towns.
“I want to extend my thanks to Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray for championing the cause and I’m very pleased we’ve been able to deliver what the local community want.”
As stated by Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray:
“I was pleased to be a part of the Technical Working Group that helped oversee this trial, and to be able to announce such a great outcome for the local community today.
“Members of the community have contacted me countless times in recent years to raise concerns about the increased vehicle movements through their towns and to ask for the speed limit to be lowered.
“Today’s announcement is strongly supported by the local community – and I know our towns will be safer as a result.”