Big change in Australian city as motorists and cyclists share road as equals 

  • A road in Australia has been given a new layout meaning motorists and cyclists will share the road as equals 
  • Toowoomba, in Queensland, opened its first ‘Safe Active Street’ last week
  • The road has a 30kph limit for all vehicles, including bikes and cars 

Published on Jul 02, 2024 at 8:03 AM (UTC+4)
by Claire Reid

Last updated on Jul 03, 2024 at 11:35 AM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

Big change in Australian city as motorists and cyclists share road as equals 

Motorists and cyclists living in the Australian city of Toowoomba will share the road as equals for the first time. 

Toowoomba, in Queensland, opened its first ‘Safe Active Street’ on Friday, June 28 – marking a new era for travel in the region. 

Following the support of the local council, Pierce Street in South Toowoomba has been specially redesigned to give cyclists and motorists equal priority – meaning they both travel down the center of the road. 

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How will the new road impact cyclists and motorists?

The redesign has seen the street overhauled with a new ‘shared travel zone’ for bicycles and motor vehicles down the middle, speed bumps, marked street parking, and new signs.

There’s also a new speed limit of 30kph (18.6 miles) that applies to all vehicles on the road, from cars and motorcycles to bikes and scooters. 

“Based on the design of a successful West Australian project, we are excited to introduce this new street treatment to Toowoomba and keen for it to be a benchmark for others to follow in our region and across Queensland,” Toowoomba councilor Trevor Manteufel said.

“As our region grows, we are looking for more ways to encourage residents to be more active, whether by walking or cycling and less reliant on private vehicle trips.”

The move has been welcomed by local cyclists – with one telling the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the new road layout shows that bicycles are ‘it’ for the street. 

“To me, as a cyclist, it tells me quite clearly that’s where I should be cycling — right in the middle of the road,” said Hugh Wilson, the president of the Toowoomba Bicycles Users Group.

Expert says it’s good news for all road users

The move is almost certain to have its opponents among motorists, but Doctor Mark Limb, senior lecturer in urban and regional planning at Queensland University of Technology, told the news outlet that every road user should be pleased with the new layout. 

He pointed out that each journey taken by bike was one less car on the road, therefore leading to a decrease in traffic. 

“The traffic is what’s really holding you up, not the bicycles,” he added.

Limb went on to say that often it was ‘through traffic’ that caused issues with jams – and that when this ‘through traffic’ was filtered out, the roads became a lot easier to use and less congested. 

The new road in Australia, comes just weeks after a specially designed ‘protected intersection’ was unveiled in the Netherlands

Designed to make vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians safer, the innovative layout works by completely separating pedestrians and cyclists from the cars on the road.

So maybe we’ll be seeing more of this sort of thing in the future…

# Tags - bicycle, Lifestyle


Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist who hails from the UK but is now living in New Zealand. She began her career after graduating with a degree in Journalism from Liverpool John Moore’s University and has more than a decade of experience, writing for both local newspapers and national news sites. Across her career she's covered a wide variety of topics, including celebrity, cryptocurrency, politics, true crime and just about everything in between.