Council approves reduced times for school speed zones

The length of time 40km/hr speed limits are in effect outside Cairns schools has been reduced to improve peak hour traffic flows.

At most schools in the Cairns Regional Council area, the morning speed zone time will decrease by half an hour, while the afternoon speed limit will be reduced to an hour. 

Previously, the zones were in effect for two hours each morning and afternoon.

New school speed zone times

Most schools:

  • 7.30am-9am
  • 2.30pm-3.30pm

Our Lady Help of Christians School, Cairns West State School and Parramatta State School:

  • 7.30am-9am
  • 2pm-3.30pm

Councillors unanimously voted on the changes this morning, at the first general meeting for 2020.

“This has been a long time coming,” said division 8 Councillor, Jessie Richardson.

“I really pushed for this back in 2015.

“I would have preferred to see one hour each way but I’m still very pleased to see these changes.”

The recommendation from officers followed an extensive consultation process, during which 42 schools were given several options, including remaining with the status quo or reducing zone times by:

  • 1.5 hours both morning and afternoon
  • 1 hour both morning and afternoon
  • 1.5 hours in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon.

Only 23 schools responded and the Council took the view that those who didn't reply to follow-up emails didn't have any objections.

Council’s General Manager for Infrastructure Services, Bruce Gardiner, said the changes will come in effect on March 2nd.

“The majority of schools in Cairns have the same start and finish times,” he said.

“The bulk of the students will arrive pretty close to school start time.

“Originally, we were going to start it at the first day of term but were going to give it another month to enable schools to give more feedback if they want to.”

The Department of Transport and Main Roads has also approved the changes.