Centre for Road Safety

City pedestrians safer

The 40km/h speed zone in the Sydney CBD was expanded on 11 August 2019 to include additional areas around Ultimo, Barangaroo, Dawes Point, Millers Point and the Sydney CBD to improve safety for pedestrians and bicycle riders. Most city streets with high pedestrian traffic are covered by a 40km/h speed limit, including those near major CBD train stations and bus interchanges.

The expanded 40km/h zone in Sydney covers:

  • Sussex, Pottinger, Lower Fort, Windmill, Napoleon, Erskine, King, Market and Shelley streets and Hickson Road in Barangaroo, Dawes Point and Millers Point
  • Parts of Broadway, near Harris Street, along with Regent, Thomas, Harris, Mary Ann and MacArthur streets, and Ultimo Road in Ultimo.

Detailed information about the changes is available in the Sydney CBD 40km/h Extension Zone (PDF, 350Kb).

With more than 90 per cent of daily trips within the Sydney CBD made on foot, the expanded Sydney CBD 40km/h zone benefits the high volume of pedestrians within the busy central area.

The larger 40km/h zone also benefits pedestrians in the evenings, when many people are out and about late at night. Our crash data shows:

  • Nearly 40 per cent of crashes in Sydney’s CBD happen between 6pm and 6am
  • Since the introduction of the 40km/h zone in the CBD there has been a 46 percent reduction in pedestrian serious casualty crashes
  • An evaluation of 40 km/h speed limits in high pedestrian areas found they were effective in improving safety, with a reduction of approximately 33 percent in crashes causing fatalities and serious injuries
  • A vehicle that hits a pedestrian at 50km/h is twice as likely to cause a fatality as the same vehicle travelling at 40km/h.

The expanded 40km/h zone also helps drivers by eliminating multiple speed limit changes on many high-traffic routes.

The Sydney CBD 40km/h speed zone was previously extended in April 2016 to include areas:

  • North to Alfred Street incorporating the existing 40km/h speed limit in The Rocks area
  • East to Macquarie Street, College Street (to Liverpool Street) and Elizabeth Street (to Eddy Avenue)
  • South to Railway Square
  • West to Quay Street, including the Paddy’s Market precinct.

Pedestrians benefit

New signs, pavement markings and a communications campaign support the expanded Sydney CBD 40km/h zone. We will also monitor the effectiveness of the expanded area to balance safety and traffic needs.

All road users should obey the rules

Pedestrians should always use crossings and only leave the kerb when the pedestrian light is green. They should Look Out before they Step Out onto the road and not be distracted by mobile phones or music.

Bicycle riders should ride predictably, and always obey traffic lights, stop and give way signs.

The Sydney CBD Motorcycle Response Team, a group of highway patrol officers dedicated to improving pedestrian safety, will continue to operate within the Sydney CBD.