Bob Such still against 40kph

We all know from recent press Bob Such is against 40kph and in so doing he targeted the City of Unley policy of 40 kph.

He is persisting and has written to the Minister of Road Safety (Jennifer Rankine) regarding the current proposal to make King William Road a 40kph zone. The minister has passed it onto us because it is a local road that comes under our care, control and management.

A transcript of his letter follows:

It is interesting how someone outside our area can know better than us. And his logic has it that if we have a lower speed it will encourage motorists to avoid shopping in the street.

He is right…motorists drive cars, they don’t shop. Pedestrians aka shoppers shop…they don’t drive cars.

Surely motorists have a focus on getting to where they want to go and they don’t they slow down until they get there, when they start thinking as a pedestrian rather than a motorist. Surely if you want to drive down King William Road at 50kph you do not have any intent on stopping to shop.

Sorry Bob! You have this wrong.

The next time your constituents want to come to your office in the Hub I wonder what those not in cars will think of those in cars that decide to travel at 50kph within the shopping centre. Yes the area you have your shop is in a shopping centre, which is designed for pedestrians.

Well last time I looked King William Road is a shopping precinct and the shoppers that use this precinct, whether they be preferentially treated local residents as you put it, or outsiders who do decide to stop and shop, deserve to be given the same safe environment as the Hub, or Marion, or Tea Tree Plaza, or wherever.


  1. Dr Bob Such MP JP   •  

    Hi. You seem more interested in being provocative rather than developing or having an argument. Thin arguments usually rely on invective!

    We now have a Standard for residential streets – it is 50 km/h and Unley is the odd one out. The 50 km/h, which I support for genuinely residential streets, has not always been correctly applied, but that’s another issue! Of course, if you keep lowering the speed then obviously the crash impact will be less – but traffic measures, like most things in life, are a compromise. Why can’t I have 10 km/h or 30 km/h in my street? The residents of Unley should be treated the same as residents elsewhere!

    I’m not arguing against the 40 km/h in King William Road for the traders, although if it is turned into a 40 km/h road people (including potential shoppers) will avoid the area. This already happens in parts of the Adelaide Hills whereby people bypass the area, eg Balhannah, Woodside etc because of the frequently changing speed limits and the relentless speed camera operations. The traders in the Hills do miss out!

    My main argument is this – if you make King William Road 40 km/h what is the incentive to use it rather than the 40 km/h side streets (less police surveillance on the side streets!) Furthermore, motorists will be pinged at midnight for doing 48 km/h (a $300 fine in South Australia). At the moment, at busy times, King William Road has an inbuilt slow down mechanism – it’s called congestion – but at midnight or 6 am?

    I haven’t argued re “saving travelling time” – peak hour King William Road is slow and pretty safe. Unley is part of a wider community and, being close to the city, will get extra traffic – just as other parts of Adelaide have to cope with other externally created factors.

    Always happy to talk


    Bob Such

  2. Good to hear from you Bob. I appreciate your input at this level. I listen regularly to your spot on 5AA with Leon and I agree with most you talk about. On this topic I do not.

    I apologise for being provactive as I defended (what did you call) our “priviledged” residents. As you can gleen from comments others have made to my previous blogs on this topic those priviledged residents have not taken too kindly to your appreciation of them.

    It is time to rethink the priority given to cars on our roads and Unley is one of the best examples as to why.

    King William Road is not accesible from the south other than via residential streets. Realistically (from this view point) it should not be viewed as a through road. King William Road, like the surrounding streets, is very narrow and is not like the streets that exist in other suburbs. It is narrower than the section of Prospect Raod that has recenlty received similar status.

    As I noted before it is a shopping precinct with a high number of pedestrians who have to give way to the car as the car has priority within their domain.

    It is a road that is used by bike riders.

    I am a car driver. I do not ride a bike. But I do appreciate the problems that bike riders have on roads such as those that exist in Unley. King William Raod is a communal gathering centre for bike riders. They deserve the same consideration that car drivers have experienced for a long time now.

    As such I am looking at this with an open mind and not that of a car driver. As a car driver I am not impressed at having the myriad of speed zones that I have to face. If I were to let this be the focus then I believe I am being selfish.

    I also appreciate that pedestrians, and I am one of those, have immense problems in crossing that street, particulalrly in those non peak times when cars are not forced to drive slow.

    We in Unley are trying to come up with local solutions to local problems that result from what is actually a state problem created over many generations; unfortunately in the absence of state solutions .

    We do not “have to cope” and neither should any part of Adelaide that experiences “externally created factors”. Indeed it would be irresponsible of us to simply lie down and accept things because they have been exposed externally or because others are simply accepting the status quo.

    Let us look at roads with all road users in mind, not just car drivers.

    Let us follow the successful reduction to 40kph on Prospect Road. Using this road reasonably regularly I would venture to suggest that I am commuting (as I do) through Prospect Road quicker after 40 than I did before because the flow of traffic is more orderly. In ither words I reckoin car drivers have benefitted as much as Prospect’s priviledged community will have.

    In other wrods Prospect is the better for it in my opinion. I believe we will find the residents of Unley will see similarly in respect of King William Road.

    Time will tell.

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