Speed limit changes to 40km/h

40km/h sign

The City of Hobart continues to improve the quality, experience and safety of its commercial, retail and urban areas, and has been progressively implementing reduced speed limits in Hobart's busy shopping, retail and restaurant precincts to 40km/h.

Speed management is a key factor in improving the safety and experience of all road users. Great cities and liveable urban environments around the world are created by focusing on people.

With this in mind, the City of Hobart obtained approval from the Transport Commissioner to change the speed limit in key areas of Hobart.

The Hobart CBD became a 40km/h zone on 1 February 2021. Macquarie and Davey Streets have remained unchanged, as have streets that have an existing speed limit of below 40km/h.

The City of Hobart has progressively implemented 40km/h zones to improve safety in key suburban retail precinct areas:

  • In 2022 the Lenah Valley Retail precinct had its 40km/h variable speed limit activated.
  • In 2023 the Sandy Bay Road Retail precinct had its speed limit reduced to 40km/h.
  • In 2024 the New Town Road Retail precinct will be the next area to have a 40km/h variable speed limit introduced.

See below for more information around the changes to Hobart's speed limits.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Why is the speed limit changing?

Speed plays a big role in the severity of injuries resulting from a crash. A lower speed is safer for all road users, particularly in busy pedestrian areas like Hobart's CBD.

Will this affect my travel time through the city?

The traffic modelling done by independent consultants GHD shows the impact on travel time through the CBD is very minimal.

In addition, many of the major traffic delays are caused by vehicle crashes so a speed reduction may mean fewer delays. If vehicles move more slowly, the risk of a crash is reduced.

Does reducing the speed by 10km/h really make any difference to safety?

Reducing the speed of a vehicle allows a driver and other road users more time to react to a potential crash, and reduces the distance that a vehicle needs to stop once the brakes are applied.

Road safety research also shows that people have a higher chance of surviving a crash if the vehicle speed is less than 40km/h.

Probability of fatal injury in relation to vehicle speed

Probability of fatal injury in relation to vehicle speed

Source: Improving Pedestrian Safety, Curtin-Monash Accident Research Centre

Why is it healthier to have lower speeds in the city?

A calmer traffic environment can reduce the stress on all road users.

Lower speed urban areas encourage people to walk around the city and makes it safer and more inviting for active travel.

What about Davey Street and Macquarie Street?

The speed limits on Davey Street and Macquarie Street have not changed, and remain at 50km/h.

Do other cities have 40km/h speed limits?

Yes, many Australian cites have a 40km/h speed limit.

Hobart already has a 40km/h speed limit throughout the Hobart waterfront and Battery Point area, in the popular dining strip in North Hobart and around schools.

Moonah and Glenorchy also have 40 km/h speed zones through their busy retail strips. In some areas of Hobart, lower speed limits have been previously implemented to ensure higher levels of safety for all road users.