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5 November, 2021

Expansion of the Cairns CBD 40km/h zone

NEW limit 40km/h zone


At a glance: 

• The 40km/h zone in the Cairns CBD is expanding to include the section south of Spence St to Wharf St. 

• The change of speed limit is to take place from Monday 22 November. 

• Since Council introduced the initial 40 km/h zone in the Cairns CBD in early 2019 casualties due to vehicle crashes have reduced. 

The 40km/h zone in the Cairns CBD will be expanded later this month to include the section south of Spence St to Wharf St, including Sheridan, Grafton, Lake, Abbott and Hartley streets. (See map above). 

The success of a 40km/h traffic speed limit in the Cairns CBD, which was introduced in early 2019, has driven further expansion of the speed limit zone. Data presented to Council showed casualties due to vehicle crashes fell overall by 21.6% since the introduction of the 40km/h traffic speed limit, and cyclist and pedestrian casualties have reduced by 36%. 

This represents a $2.5 million saving in costs to the community according to a Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) economic assessment of incident related cost reductions to the community. 

“This is about community safety,” Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said. “Before the introduction of the 40km/h speed limit, the Cairns CBD was identified as one of the highest crash zones in Queensland. 

“The data clearly demonstrates that lowering of the speed limit from 50km/h to 40km/h has resulted in increased safety for pedestrians and cyclists. 

“Quite simply, one less traffic crash or fatality is a good outcome.” 

The 40km/h speed limit will be introduced from Monday 22 November to include the section of the Cairns CBD south of Spence St, through to Wharf Street, including Sheridan, Grafton, Lake, Abbott and Hartley streets. 

Existing 40 km/h speed limits in the CBD and the low-speed zones in Lake St and the Cairns Esplanade will remain unchanged. 

This project is the result of a partnership between the Queensland Government and Cairns Regional Council, with funding provided through TMR’s Vulnerable Road Users Program (VRUP).


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