All roads facilitate the movement of people and goods, but urban roads must integrate into our cities, towns and suburbs so that people want to live, work and play in these centres of activity. This means ensuring that urban roads service the needs of all people for access, amenity and a sense of ‘place’.
Lower traffic speeds make it more attractive for people to walk and cycle which has a number of benefits. Our health, both physical and mental, improves as a result of being more active, and interactive. Those with impaired mobility can move around more easily and the very young and very old feel safer and more independent. Shops, businesses and activity centres can thrive and the overall transport system is more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
There are significant safety benefits that result from having speed limits in urban areas that are less than 50km/h. Lower speed limits in built-up areas help reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries. Travelling at lower speeds improves a driver’s likelihood of stopping and avoiding crashes, especially in areas of high pedestrian activity. Where crashes occur they are less severe, especially for children and the elderly.