The Labor/Greens controlled Council are determined to introduce a 40km/hr speed limit reduction and traffic calming devices, such as speed humps and road narrowing, across all of Waverley; initially starting with streets south of Bondi Rd. The community consultation was less than satisfactory. Information was concealed, such as travel times increasing by up to 25%, the prospect that traffic congestion will worsen, and how enforcement will occur. Also, it generally only focused on residents living in the streets south of Bondi Rd where traffic calming is proposed to be installed, rather than all residents that would be impacted by the new restrictions.
Notwithstanding the process followed, the response rate was extremely low, with only 140 responses supporting a reduction in the speed limit, which clearly is an insufficient number for Council to make a change of this magnitude.
Precinct Committees and impacted Waverley residents oppose the 40km/hr speed limit reduction and reject the proposed traffic calming measures, but this Council is intent on pushing ahead with the project regardless.
Accident history in our local streets is minimal and largely has not resulted from vehicle speed. However, state-controlled roads (Bondi Rd,Council St and Carrington Rd) report some of the highest accident history and yet will remain at 50km/hr, as will roads in neighbouring council areas and north of Bondi Rd. It is clear that this proposal will create confusion about the varying speed limits, fail to reduce road accidents, and could increase the risk of fines.
The Waverley Liberals have consistently voted in support of the community and offered reasonable alternatives. Instead, we need to find the right measures to make our streets safer by reducing speeds in high pedestrian activity areas, narrow streets, and those streets that have high speeds and an accident history.