Traffic management system to improve M1 congestion

New traffic management system to deliver improvements to congestion, capacity and safety on Melbourne's M1

A new traffic management system will deliver improvements to congestion, capacity and safety on Melbourne's M1 Freeway, the State Government claims.

Queensland company Transmax has won a $13.7 million contract to design the software for the new traffic management system, part of a $1.39 billion upgrade of the M1.

The system includes freeway ramp signals to monitor and control traffic, as well as on-road signage to communicate to drivers about lane closures, speed limits and freeway conditions.

Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas says the system is unique in Australia and will deliver "significant improvements to the operation of the Freeway, used by more than 160,000 motorists every day".

Ramp signals will help manage the freeway during peak periods by preventing the main road from becoming overly congested, while managing traffic volumes at critical bottlenecks.

As part of the M1 upgrade ramp signals will be introduced at more than sixty locations on the freeway.

Speed and lane control will be in place over 18km of the Freeway and new technology linking the operation of these signals will allow VicRoads to respond more quickly to incidents and freeway congestion.

Pallas says the development of this technology puts the M1 projects at the forefront of world congestion management strategies.

The new system has already been successfully trialled on a section of the Monash Freeway.

"Combined with M1 design improvements, these changes would ensure the M1 is able to handle a 50 percent increase in traffic volumes and reduce accidents by 20 percent," Pallas says.

Works to install the new freeway management system are already underway. Implementation of the entire system is due for completion in December 2010.

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