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40km/h in Town Centres

The ACT Government has introduced 40 kilometre per hour (km/h) speed limits in Belconnen, Civic and Tuggeranong town centre precincts to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. The speed limit in these areas were implemented on 11 June 2013, and operate on a full time basis (24 hours a day, seven days a week). Evaluation of the 40 km/h areas commenced six months after implementation.

Community engagement

Feedback provided through the consultation process resulted in the majority of respondents (88%) supporting the proposed precinct boundaries.

Comments received during the consultation process also indicated that most respondents recognised the need to improve safety for vulnerable road users.

Implementing safer speed limits in areas with high pedestrian and cyclist activity is a proven road safety measure, as identified in the National Road Safety Strategy and the ACT Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan.

Project background

In 2010, the ACT Government investigated the potential of 40 km/h areas around shopping centres and community facilities in the ACT to improve levels of safety, especially for cyclists and pedestrians. The investigation showed that the introduction of 40 km/h areas have significant road safety benefits.

Suitable locations for the introduction of 40 km/h areas were identified at centres where there is:

  • a high level of pedestrian movement, and
  • a minimum of 400 metres of retail and commercial development along local roads.

The ACT Government trialled 40km/h areas in Gungahlin and Woden town centres in 2011. Following a review of the trial, which included consultation with the local community and traders as well as the collection of speed and traffic volume data, the ACT Government decided to implement the reduced speed limit in the Woden and Gungahlin town centres on a permanent basis and introduce 40km/h precincts to Belconnen, Civic and Tuggeranong.

Safety benefits

Research shows that the introduction of a 40km/h area significantly reduces the risk of death for vulnerable road users. A 10km/h decrease in speed can reduce the risk of death from approximately 80% (50km/h) to 30% (40km/h). That is a 50% reduction in the risk of death for pedestrians and cyclists.

Risk of death to a pedestrian or cyclist as a function of impact speed
Risk of death to a pedestrian or cyclist as a function of impact speed
Source: Anderson R, McLean A, Farmer M, Lee B, & Brooks C. (1997).

40km/h precinct boundaries

To determine the boundaries for the 40km/h areas the following activities were undertaken in Belconnen, Civic and Tuggeranong town centres:

  • Speed surveys;
  • pedestrian and cyclists counts; and
  • analysis of pedestrian and cyclist crash data within each town centre.

Analysis of this information determined which parts of the town centres were selected for the 40km/h speed limits. The boundaries of each precinct are shown below:

40km/h precinct map - Belconnen

40km/h precinct map - Civic

40km/h precinct map - Tuggeranong

How will this affect driving conditions?

The speed limit operates on a full time basis (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), ensuring increased road safety benefits for all road users.
The areas have signage and several temporary traffic calming treatments. These create a self-enforcing 40 km/h area. The 40 km/h area will not significantly affect travel times or local businesses.


Example of traffic calming treatments


Example of signage

Expanded 40km/h zones in the Belconnen Town Centre

Works to expand 40 kilometre per hour speed limits already in place in and around the Belconnen Town Centre to improve safety in the area have been completed.

This follows on from previous works to implement 40 km/h speed limits in all ACT town centres in 2013 and all group centres in 2015. As part of the evaluation process the local community expressed interest in the expansion of the 40km/h speed limit areas to other streets in the town centres, including in Belconnen.

The existing 40 km/h speed limits have been expanded to include the following sections of road:

  • Eastern Valley Way from Emu Bank to College Street
  • Chandler Street from Benjamin Way to College Street
  • Swanson Court from Benjamin Way to Chandler Street
  • Cameron Avenue from Benjamin Way to Eastern Valley Way
  • Benjamin Way from Emu Bank to College Street
  • Lathlain Street from Ibbott Lane to Luxton Street
  • Ibbott Lane from Market Street to Lathlain Street
  • Market Street from Lathlain Street to Benjamin Way
  • College Street from Lathlain Street to Benjamin Way

Around 100 new signs will be installed at a number of locations in Belconnen to reflect the reduced speed limit.