When the Monash Freeway Upgrade is complete, the M1 will be a managed motorway from Werribee right through to Pakenham. This provides smoother, safer driving conditions for commuters and freight vehicles over this 90 kilometre stretch.
During peak times, traffic trying to enter the freeway can queue back along the entry ramps and cause congestion on other roads. Cars surging onto the freeway in groups compounds the stop-start driving conditions we all prefer to avoid.
Freeway incidents can cause delays at points far from the incident site. Without prior warning that a lane is blocked, or advice to travel at a slower speed, cars can bank up and take many hours to clear.
The solution: ramp signals
Freeway ramp signals balance the number and timing of vehicles entering the freeway along the whole route. Part of a centrally coordinated system, ramp signals generally operate during peak hours and at any time when freeway conditions are heavy.
Sometimes it may seem that the signals are operating at your ramp despite smooth traffic conditions nearby. That means the congestion is elsewhere on the route and your entry is being regulated to improve overall flow. This will benefit you and all motorists along the freeway.
The solution: Lane Use Management Signs
LUMS consist of overhead signage mounted on gantries at regular intervals along the freeway. Easily updated from a central coordination point, LUMS enable efficient responses to changing traffic conditions. When traffic incidents or other disruptions occur, controllers can use LUMS to coordinate lane closures and variable speed limits. Drivers receive advanced warning about upcoming traffic disruptions, allowing them to make informed decisions about their travel.
The addition of Automatic Incident Detection (AID) to this system enables automatic detection of an incident or breakdown, flagging with the traffic management centre the need for attention and potential action in the form of quickly reducing speeds or closing lanes.
Benefits of a managed motorway
Ramp signals (metering) and LUMS are common features along the M1 corridor and other freeways.
A managed motorway means:
- Easier and safer merging into freeway traffic.
- Reduced congestion and improved traffic flow on the freeway, as well as the surrounding roads.
- Smoother driving and more reliable travel times.
- Reduced emissions from vehicles.