GUELPH -- The City of Guelph is considering lowering speed limits and adding automated speed enforcement some neighbourhoods.

On July 5, Guelph council will discuss a staff proposal that would see the speed limit in 48 neighbourhoods reduced from 50 km/h to 40 km/h.

“We heard loud and clear from the Guelph community that they want to see lower speeds in areas with vulnerable road users, and more enforcement of speeding,” Steve Anderson, manager of transportation engineering, said in a release.

Staff is also recommending reducing speed limits on all downtown core streets to 40 km/h and reducing speeds by 10 km/h on 12 collector and arterial roads, including sections of Clair Road West, Gordon Street, College Avenue, Eastview Road, Wellington Road and Woolwich Street.

The proposal would also see speeding fines doubled in school zones.

In addition to lowering the speed limits, city staff also recommends implementing an Automated Speed Enforcement program, which uses cameras and speed measurement devices, in community safety and school zones.

“Reducing speed limits on selected roads, creating community safety zones and introducing automated speed enforcement will improve road safety and reduce collision severity in our city," Anderson said.

If the staff proposal is approved by council, the reduced speed limits could begin in 2022, with the Automated Speed Enforcement program launching in 2023.

“We’re working towards a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. The changes we’ve proposed will help us get there," Anderson said.

Speed limit reductions are funded through an approved 2021 tax-supported capital, with staff estimating the one-time cost at $300,000.

Funding for the automated speed program would come through future operating budgets and cost the city about $120,000 per year, although staff say the cost of the program would be offset by violation revenues.