JANUARY 6 2017 – 7:35AM
The RAC has warned Western Australia could soon have the most congested roads in the country after a new national traffic report revealed Perth’s slowest roads.
The Congestion and Reliability Review by the country’s peak roads and traffic agency, AustRoads, revealed two of the city’s major highways, Reid and Tonkin, along with Orrong Road, were the most delayed roads in the metropolitan area, with traffic moving 32 per cent slower than it should.
Reid Highway, along the north-eastern corridor, topped the list with traffic moving at an average pace of 53.2 kilometres per hour, despite generally being a 90 kilometre an hour zone.
The report listed the top ten most delayed roads in Australia as being in Sydney (7) and Melbourne (3), but RAC general manager corporate affairs Will Golsby warned Perth was forecast to have four roads topping that list by 2031.
The predicted roads, featured in a separate report by Infrastructure Australia, are the Mitchell Freeway, Tonkin Highway, Graham Farmer Freeway / Orrong Road / Welshpool Road corridor, and Marmion Avenue / West Coast Highway corridor.
“Congestion continues to take time out of our everyday lives now, and it is forecast to get worse,” Mr Golsby said.
“The warning signs are all there that without action, Perth is forecast to have seven of the 10 most congested roads nationally by 2031, including the top four.
“Austroads identifies Tonkin Highway as Perth’s second most delayed road, and Infrastructure Australia predict Tonkin Highway will soon be the second most congested road in the country.
“Similarly, Austroads identifies Orrong Road as the third worst road in Perth; and Infrastructure Australia predict this will soon be the third-most congested corridor in the country.”
The title of the Perth’s slowest main road goes to Shepperton Road which recorded an average speed of 31.2 kilometres an hour, closely followed by Stirling Highway at 33 kilometres per hour and Karrinyup Road at 37.9 kilometres an hour.
It used data from Google Maps over an 11-week period between September and November 2015, noting Google’s traffic data is the most commonly used by Australian road users.
“The review has unashamedly taken a customer-centric view of congestion with measures that are most relevant to their lives and journeys,” AustRoads said.
The review excluded roads that are shorter than five kilometres long, so its results would not be skewed by small local streets.
Despite RAC predicting Perth’s roads would be among the most congested in the country in 15 years, the city’s current congestion delays pales in comparison to Sydney and Melbourne.
Burke Road in Melbourne received the unenviable title of most congested road in Australia, with an average delay of more than 79 per cent what the distance should take without traffic.
Sydney’s Centenary Drive was Australia’s second most clogged road, with a delay of 77.4 per cent, while Melbourne’s famous Punt Road came in third nationally with a delay of 71.1 per cent.
AustRoads said its report was intended to provide planners with a greater understanding of traffic issues in their city and pointers to how they might be fixed.
“This report provides a baseline for how our road networks perform today, and practical frameworks to help road agencies to improve that performance in future,” it said.
The state government’s Perth Transport Plan includes plans to make Tonkin, Reid and Roe Highways freeway standard to create a “ring around the central region and provide connections to the north, east and south”.
Additional lanes and interchange upgrades have also been touted for the Mitchell and Kwinana Freeways.
WA Labor announced on Thursday, if elected, it would redirect $125 million from the Roe 8 project into improving congestion in Perth’s northern suburbs, focusing on major upgrades to Wanneroo Road.
The office of the transport minister and planning shadow minister have been contacted for comment.
Perth’s ten most delayed roads
Reid Highway: Average speed 53.2km/h, Travel time delay 32.9%
Tonkin Highway: 59.1km/h, Travel time delay 32.7%
Orrong Road: 40.6km/h, Travel time delay 32.3%
Canning Highway: 38.1km/h, Travel time delay 27.9%
Karrinyup Road: 37.9km/h, Travel time delay 27%
Shepparton Road: 31.2km/h, Travel time delay 26.5%
South Street: 41.6km/h, Travel time delay 25%
Mitchell Freeway: 76.2km/h, Travel time delay 24.1%
Morley Drive: 38.3km/h, Travel time delay 23.7%
Stirling Highway: 33km/h, Travel time delay 23.4%
Source : WA Today