Traffic Chaos in Brisbane? Clogged Roads? Try This….

The big news here in Australia this week is that “Americain” won the 2010 Melbourne Cup. If you don’t know what the Melbourne Cup is or how important it is here in Australia, then you should read my post from last year called…..

Australia’s Unofficial National Holiday

Because today I have something more important to talk about.

Bumper to Bumper Traffic!

Yesterday, the Courier Mail led with a story about “Southeast Queensland motorists stuck at 40km/h in peak hour on clogged major roads.” As the title suggests, the article talks about some of our roads and highways on which motorists barely reach an average speed of 40 km/h during rush hour.

40 km/h! That’s a pretty healthy 25 mph.

Traffic Hotspot Western Suburbs Brisbane

4pm, Thursday. Western Suburbs Notorious Hotspot. Not too bad eh?

The worst roads in Brisbane City were apparently Wardell St and Jubilee Terrace which averaged just 19 km/h during the morning peak. The worst decline in speed since the last survey was recorded at Kingsford Smith Drive where average peak time speeds are now 36 km/h, down from 45 km/h in 2008.

You can read more over at the Courier Mail.

Having myself lived close to the most notorious road in England, the M25, I can’t see what the problem is. I’ve seen the sunset on the M25!

Let me introduce my Australian readers to the M25.

This is a major motorway that forms a ring around London. It is officially the worst road in Britain. At something like 118 miles in length, it is also officially the world’s biggest city bypass. It is also unofficially known as “the world’s biggest car park”.

brisbane bypass

Brisbane, (Not rush hour) Worlds Shortest City Bypass?

Last time I was on it, it had three lanes in some places and up to 6 or was it eight lanes in others. But since the road was built sometime in the 80s I think, they are continually adding more lanes to more areas in a vain effort to keep the traffic moving.

This tactic hasn’t worked.

How long does it take to drive around the M25? Officially, it should take one hour 41 minutes at 70 mph. Anecdotally I’ve heard of it being done in 53 minutes, but that would have been at around 3 AM on a Sunday morning by a hooner. On a bad day it could take six hours or more.

Elsewhere around England, here’s what happens with the traffic:

  • The average speed during rush hour in urban areas outside London in 2002 was below 16 mph. (From 2002! It can only be slower now. And that’s from outside London!)
  • The morning rush ‘hour’ is starting earlier and earlier… and can last three hours. Rush hour now starts as early as 5:30 AM on some roads.
  • Britain’s most congested road is in Clapham (London) and it is gridlocked for 92 hours of every week.

But there is always someone worse off than yourself, isn’t there?

And when it comes to traffic jams, those someone’s are in China!

In north China’s Hebei province, traffic was gridlocked for 10 days in a 60 mile tailback. Now that’s what I call “bumper-to-bumper”. You can read the full report on that one over at The Guardian.

So I think at 40 km/h that Brisbane’s city traffic isn’t too bad. After all, this is what 40 km/h looks like……..

Yes, fast enough to win the Melbourne Cup!

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Cindy Barnes May 15, 2017, 8:26 am | Link

    Hey Bob how do Highways and roads in general in oz compare to here in the uk? As in road quality, maintenance and congestion? Just curious.
    I’d figure oz would be ahead due to a lower population.

    • BobinOz May 16, 2017, 8:30 pm | Link

      Well, Australian roads are, for sure, far less congested than those in the UK, and because of that our highways and motorways simply don’t have as many traffic lanes as those in the UK.

      It’s very rare to see four lanes on a motorway here, it happens but usually it’s temporary and they soon merge down into three or even two lanes. Some motorways or highways only have one lane and some could do with a few repairs.

      So I wouldn’t say Australian motorways are ahead by any means, but there is no doubt I would rather drive in a motorway here than on one in the UK and I have never ever found a motorway here that is anywhere as bad as the M25. Hope I never do 🙂

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