HINDMARSH Shire Council will apply to VicRoads to change speed limits in Nhill.
The council wants to extend 50km/h zones along both the Adelaide-bound section of the Western Highway before Nhill Hospital, and in both directions in the section between James and Pine streets near Jaypex Park.
Community members were concerned with the varied speed limits in the town and safety risks to pedestrians, and asked council to review these.
In a report to councillors, council’s infrastructure engineer noted there was community concern about the speed of vehicles around high-pedestrian activity areas with the town’s retail precinct, the hospital, and the park.
The community expects pedestrian activity will further increase near the park after a new skate park is constructed there later this year.
The report also noted a number of initiatives council is working on to improve road safety, including the installation of all-abilities pedestrian crossing ramps.
Hindmarsh Shire mayor Ron Ismay said council’s proposal would go to the Western Highway Action Committee for support, before being submitted to VicRoads.
Council will also seek formal support from West Wimmera Health Service and Nhill police.
Cr Ismay said the current arrangements in the town were confusing and needed to be changed.
“As you come into town in the Adelaide-bound lane, you slow from 100km/h to 80, then 60, then to 40 in school hours, then back to 60, then to 50 through the centre of town – it’s a bit all over the place,” he said.
“Having it one speed through a larger section will make it better.
“It’s quite a busy section of the highway, but slowing the traffic down a bit certainly isn't going to hurt.”
If council’s proposal is successful, the 50km/h zone would extend from Nairn Street near Nhill Hospital, to James Street on the Adelaide side of town.