Minister Gay said between 2008 and 2014, there were 7 pedestrians killed in the CBD including 3 just this year.
“More than 90 per cent of trips made every day in the Sydney CBD are made on foot,” Minister Gay said.
“The CBD carries an incredibly high volume of traffic on both its roads and footpaths, so it’s important that all road users work together to reduce the high number of crashes and injuries.
“We know that speed is a critical factor for the safety of pedestrians. A vehicle that hits a pedestrian at 50km/h is twice as likely to cause a fatality as the same vehicle travelling 10km/h slower.
“A driver travelling at 40km/h also has a greater opportunity to avoid a crash and any impact will be less severe.
“The new 40km/h limit zone to be introduced by the end of this year will operate in the area bounded by Hay, Kent, Pitt and Castlereagh streets (see map attached), and will connect with the current 40km/h area in The Rocks north of the CBD.
“Measures including signage, pavement markings and a communications campaign will be used to support the introduction of the lower speed limit.
“The Centre for Road Safety will monitor the effectiveness of the limits to determine if any locations need further speed management.
“While reducing the speed limit in the CBD to 40km/h is an important measure pedestrians also need to play their part to reduce the number of crashes and the Sydney CBD Motorcycle Response Team will continue to monitor poor pedestrian behaviour.
“With the vast majority of traffic in the CBD being on foot, simple actions by pedestrians will improve safety.
“Pedestrians should always cross at the lights, obey traffic signals, look both ways before they cross and stay alert by not getting distracted by phones or music,” Mr Gay said.
The decision to introduce the 40 km/h speed limit follows analysis by the Centre for Road Safety and consultation with Roads and Maritime Services and the City of Sydney Council.
There are 40km/h speed limits already in place in parts of The Rocks, Millers Point, Woolloomooloo, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Redfern, Chippendale, Rosebery, Leichhardt and Erskineville.
There are also 40km/h speed limits in place in other busy CBD areas across Sydney including North Sydney, Chatswood, and Parramatta.
The introduction of a 40km/h speed limit in the CBD is part of the NSW Government’s Sydney City Centre Access Strategy, which provides a vision for how people will enter, exit and move around Sydney’s CBD safely over the next 20 years.
The Strategy is supplemented by the Pedestrian and Cycling Action Plans developed by Transport for NSW, working with Bicycle NSW, the Amy Gillett Foundation, the Pedestrian Council of Australia, the NSW Police Force, NRMA Motoring and Services and Local Government NSW.