Variable speed limits will help reduce congestion: RACQ

The State’s peak motoring body has welcomed news the Queensland Government would introduce smarter speed limit management on the M1 to reduce congestion and improve safety.

A review of M1 speeds during the Commonwealth Games had prompted the Government to introduce variable speed limit signs which would see speeds altered to suit traffic conditions.

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RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner said this would help reduce congestion and the frequency and severity of crashes on the State’s busiest road.

“Variable speed limits on busy roads like the M1 are effective because they help motorway operators adjust speeds to keep traffic flowing if there’s gridlock or a crash,” Mr Turner said.

“Governments will look to these concepts in the future, because they’ll allow us to get better-use out of existing assets and roads and make them more flexible by being able to adjust speeds up and down a road to meet conditions.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said variable speed limit technology had already been used to reduce congestion on other major Queensland highways.

“Congestion variable speed limits are already in place on the Bruce Highway and Logan and Ipswich Motorways, and are proven to help reduce crashes and improve travel times by minimising stop/start congestion patterns with smoother traffic flows,” Mr Bailey said.

“When you are travelling at a lower speed, braking is more effective. This reduces your chance of having a crash and reduces the flow-on effects to other drivers.”

Mr Bailey said the Government would release a detailed implementation plan which would include timeframes and extensive community and stakeholder engagement.