Bridge Street speed limit should be 40km/h, Murray Bridge councillor says

Fast lane: Murray Bridge Councillor Andrew Baltensperger wants the speed limit on Bridge Street to be reduced to 40 kilometres per hour.
Fast lane: Murray Bridge Councillor Andrew Baltensperger wants the speed limit on Bridge Street to be reduced to 40 kilometres per hour.

A push to reduce the speed limit on Murray Bridge's main street sparked fierce debate at a council meeting on Monday.

Councillor Andrew Baltensperger pushed for the speed limit on Bridge Street to be reduced from 50 to 40 kilometres per hour, and for pedestrian-priority crossings to be developed along its length.

The changes would help attract pedestrians to the street, he said, which would benefit existing businesses and encourage new ones to move in.

"A successful main street must strike a balance between all users, regardless of physical abilities or mode of travel," he said.

"Our main street feels more like a small freeway than the convivial customer and tourist destination we should all desire.

"Bridge Street absolutely must evolve in order to not only survive, but eventually prosper."

He said fast-moving trucks intimidated al fresco diners, and that the current pedestrian crossings confused some drivers.

Cr Jerry Wilson was adamant no speed limit change was needed, especially as the street was deserted at night.

He also questioned the need for, and legality of, upgrading the pedestrian crossings.

"I shudder to think what's going to happen when somebody is hit less than 100 metres from a pedestrian crossing at a controlled intersection," he said.

"People in this town are a bit lazy.

"You should have to walk down to the intersection and cross at the traffic lights."

Council staff will consult the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, which has responsibility for Bridge Street, and explore the idea in a written report.

In the meantime, Bridge Street trader John Beauchamp said he was enthusiastic about lowering the limit.

“Personally, if I come off the bridge I find it hard to do 50, but other people don’t seem to have trouble doing 60 or 70,” he said.

“Safety’s number one, and … people driving through might see what’s in the street (businesses) more.”