Variable speed limits are set to become the norm on the Pacific Motorway in a bid to ease traffic snarls on southern Queensland‘s busiest road.
Speed limits will be reduced during busy periods on the M1 between northern Gold Coast and South Brisbane using electronic signs following a review of a similar plan during the Commonwealth Games.
Queensland Transport minister Mark Bailey said the plan will reduce congestion and improve safety.
“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 in a statement on Friday.
Travel times will be reduced by minimising start-stop driving and improving traffic flow, he said.
Variable speed limits are already in place on the Bruce Highway and Logan and Ipswich Motorways.
Mr Bailey said they had helped reduce accidents and improved travel times on the roadways.
The plan was backed by peak motoring body RACQ as a positive step forward to improving the severity of crashes and congestion on the vital link roadway.
“What this will allow (Main Roads) to do if they’ve got congestion 10 or 20 or 30 kilometres down the M1, they can reduce speeds further up and allow that congestion to free,” spokesman Paul Turner said.
“During heavy traffic or when there’s been an incident it will actually mean (motorists) will slow from 100 or 110 (km/h) back down to 80 or 90 and what that does is smooth out congestion.”
Opposition leader Deb Frecklington called for an alternate roadway to manage 60,000 cars a day between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
“Reducing the speed limit is nothing more than a total cop-out,” she said.