Call to cut speeds on beach

The Manly Daily

Thursday 14 June 2001

Harold Scruby
PENINSULA councils should adopt 4Okm/h sections on busy beachfront roads as a first step to protecting pedestrians, road safety advocate Harold Scruby said.

The next step would be to emulate Mosman Council and create "shared zones in select beach and retail areas, the Pedestrian Council of NSW chairman said.

Mr Scruby said the RTA-sanctioned shared zones make pedestrians a priority. Through traffic is allowed, usually to a sedate 30km/h limit, but people have absolute right of way.

"We're not trying to ban cars from these areas, we're just saying that this is the home of pedestrians," he said.

Mosman shared zones have been set up in a busy laneway at Spit Junction and in the Woolworths laneway and carpark at Neutral Bay. The pedestrian council is now pushing for their introduction at Balmoral Beach.

Mr Scruby said there were numerous spots at Palm Beach, Newport, Bilgola and Manly where "people with prams and trolleys should come first".

He said the concept was common in North America, but few Australian councils had moved to implement them.

"In Aspen (Colorado) the whole city is a pedestrian priority zone," Mr Scruby said. If people place one foot off the footpath, the cars stop."

However, as a first priority, Mr Scruby said the peninsula's busiest beachfront roads should be limited to 40km/h.

Outside of peninsula school zones, only one small section of North Steyne is limited to 40km/ h at Queenscliff - the result of a trial by Manly Council that was never lifted.

Mr Scruby said a serious accident at Beach Rd, Palm Beach, several weeks ago made the area a priority for a 40km/h limit and called on peninsula councils to nominate other areas.

"Why should we have to fight for this?" he said.

"We kill 110 pedestrians a year in NSW and maim 10 times that number."