How can we manage congestion on Victoria’s roads?

Congestion is a key issue affecting Victoria’s transport sector. Here, our experts provide their insights on how we can better manage our roads.

Key recommendations

· By 2030, an additional 3.5 million trips are expected to be made each day across Melbourne’s transport network, increasing commuter time on Melbourne’s roads by 20 per cent.

· There is strong potential to use Intelligent Transport Systems to manage congestion across the transport network, providing commuters with real-time information to plan their journey and best mode of transport.

· Up to a third of Victorian drivers could potentially shift to other modes of transport to alleviate road congestion. This shift can be supported by development of a high-capacity inter-suburban orbital light and heavy rail system, as well as providing higher frequency and more direct bus services.

· Congestion can be further alleviated by promoting active transport alternatives to car use. This requires additional investment in cycling infrastructure and incentives, as well as creating walkable neighbourhoods.

· Transport pricing has been seen to reduce urban congestion by between 13 per cent – 30 per cent in other cities. Differential pricing of public transport services at peak and off-peak periods can similarly manage demand, reducing overcrowding on peak hour services.

Congestion presents significant economic, social and environmental costs.

Infrastructure Victoria estimates that by 2030, commuter time spent on congested roads across Melbourne will increase by 20 per cent.

Planning for future congestion requires exploration of alternative transport modes and behaviours, including shifting towards more sustainable forms of transport and travelling outside of peak periods.

To manage congestion, a coordinated approach is needed that considers all users of the transport system – pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users and motorists.

We propose three key actions for government to manage congestion more effectively in Victoria: better use of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS); promoting mode shift from motor vehicles to other forms of transport; and transport pricing aimed at managing demand.

For more insights see the full Transport Congestion Policy Brief here.

/RMIT University News Release. View in full here.