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VicRoads acts on crash detour routes

Pre-determined detour routes for Melbourne's major freeways developed to relieve heavy traffic flow during emergencies

By Ruza Zivkusic | October 25, 2010

Pre-determined detour routes for Melbourne’s major freeways have been developed to relieve heavy traffic flow during emergencies, VicRoads Acting Director for Road User Services Richard Bell says.

In response to ATN’s report about the National Bulk Tanker Association (NBTA) calling on a national approach to deal with an emergency when major roads are shut down, Bell says VicRoads has systems and plans in place to monitor and manage traffic incidents every day on the roads, including large-scale incidents causing freeway closures.

Its Traffic Management Centre (TMC) monitors Melbourne’s freeways 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The TMC uses automatic incident detection systems that can distinguish between typical congestion and unusual congestion, which may be the result of an incident,” Bell says.

“TMC staff use CCTV traffic cameras to monitor and confirm problems and respond as required.”

The centre coordinates the VicRoads response to all freeway incidents, working closely with emergency services as required.
It also liaises directly with media outlets to communicate incident information and detour routes.

Last Friday’s truck fire on the Tullamarine Freeway, which happened just before midday, caused closures to the outbound lanes on the freeway.

“VicRaods TMC dispatched an incident response team who arrived on scene and remained there until the truck was removed and all lanes were re-opened just before 2pm,” Bell says.

NBTA Executive Rob Perkins believes a national approach between the trucking industry, the emergency departments and governments was needed to deal with an emergency when freeways were shut down, such as Sydney’s F3 Freeway which was closed earlier this year.

A truck collision caused delays for nearly 12 hours.

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