Sydney is quickly starting to realise the benefits of a pedestrian friendly CBD. Over Christmas we saw pedestrians, quite literally taking to the streets as they made the most of the temporary retail spaces set up along the bitumen of George Street. For the first time in recent history, pedestrians were free to wander along this historic street without bus and car traffic.

The city CBD is now set to become even more pedestrian friendly with Minister for Roads Duncan Gay today announcing that the Sydney CBD 40km/h speed limit will be expanded in April to improve pedestrian safety.

“For less than an extra minute of travel time for motorists, we’re doubling the chance of survival for pedestrians in Sydney CBD,” The Minister said.

“In the past ten years we’ve sadly seen 12 tragic deaths and more than 1400 injuries within this new larger speed zoned area.

“This is why we’re installing sensible speed limits in an area where lots of pedestrians are out and about each day – to protect vulnerable road users and save lives.”

The expanded 40km/h zone will cover the central CBD and will be bound to the:

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

As CBD Coordinator General Marg Prendergast has said, expanding these 40km/h zones is also good for motorists as it will eliminate multiple speed limit changes on many high-traffic routes.

“As we work towards transforming Sydney for the future, reducing the speed limit to 40km/h also helps with the need for temporary roadwork speed limits,” Ms Prendergast said. 

“There are more than 150 locations in NSW where 40km/h limits are in place in high pedestrian areas including North Sydney and Parramatta CBD as well as regional centres such as Tamworth and Albury – this is a common and effective measure for busy areas.”

Of course this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention when walking around the city. NSW Roads advise always taking caution when crossing the road, cross at the lights and designated pedestrian crossings and make sure you’re not distracted by your mobile phone!

More information about the expanded 40km/h zones, George Street closure and ongoing CBD transformation is available at