How the King Georges Road Clearway Project improved AM peak hour congestion by 200%

In 2013 the NSW Government committed $121 million to the Sydney Clearways Strategy.

In this case study, we evaluate traffic flow and congestion improvements on King Georges Road using Intelematics INSIGHT and Intelematics’ historical traffic data files.

DOWNLOAD CASE STUDY

HYPOTHESIS

Has the King Georges Clearway Project reduced congestion? If so, by how much?

REQUIREMENT

2016 Beverly Hills to Blakehurst traffic analysis data and 2019 Intelematics INSIGHT’s

RESULTS

An improvement in peak hour congestion and traffic flow. Scroll down to see more.

John Cardoso

Senior Product Manager
Intelematics

“Intelematics capture data through thousands of sensors located on roads, in vehicles and infrastructure. This data is used to assess trends, background noise, congestion, and more, so getting to the bottom of just how congested a particular stretch of road is, is a simple task that only takes a few minutes”

Background

In December 2013, the NSW Government committed to improving travel times for both public transport and the road network. The road network plan specifically set-out to improve AM and PM peak travel times on 100 major roads. One of the primary means used to achieve this was the use of clearways – allowing travellers to use all road traffic lanes on major roads. This was achieved by restricting stopping and parking, particularly during peak periods.

The NSW Government committed $121 million to the Sydney Clearways Strategy, which included assisting local councils with alternate business customer parking solutions. 

When we talk about slashing commute times, expensive infrastructure such as new railways or freeways often come to mind. But NSW Governments Sydney Clearway strategy backed by an investment of $121 million seemed a simple solution. Was it effective in improving AM and PM travel times? Let’s take a look.

The economic cost of congestion in Sydney – 1980-2020
The Economic cost of congestion in Sydney - 1980-2020

Image courtesy – Long Term Transport Master Plan, Transport for NSW, 2012

The benefits of clearways

  • Creates an additional lane for traffic
  • Improves journey times
  • Improves road safety
  • Improves traffic flow
  • Creates more space for vehicles
  • Improves turning efficiencies

Pilot approach

Five high priority projects to pilot the approach were identified. Changes to these routes included extensions to the hours of operation during weekday peaks, the introduction of weekend periods, and extension to the length of the routes covered by the clearway.

First five high priority projects to pilot the approach
Pilot locations for Sydney Clearways project

Image courtesy – Long Term Transport Master Plan, Transport for NSW, 2012

Download the case study

DOWNLOAD
DOWNLOAD

Why King Georges Road?

As part of the NSW Government’s Sydney Clearways StrategyKing Georges Road was identified as needing additional clearways to increase traffic flow.

King Georges Road: King Georges Road is four-to-six-lane’s in Sydney’s south. It plays a vital role in moving people and goods from the Northern Beaches, via Macquarie Park and Homebush to Blakehurst. It forms part of the A3 corridor.

Associated LGAs: Running through Georges River Council and City of Canterbury-Bankstown.

Associated Suburbs: King Georges Road begins at a junction with the Princes Highway at Blakehurst and continues north-west for about 12 kilometres through the suburbs of South Hurstville, Hurstville, Penshurst, Beverly Hills, Roselands, Wiley Park and Punchbowl.

The route was identified as part of the pilot project based on an assessment of the following criteria at that time:

  • Directional traffic flows exceed 800 vehicles per hour per lane
  • Travel speeds are 30km/h or below during peak periods

This stretch was a major traffic bottleneck with travel speeds sitting at average 30 kilometres per hour, even at non-peak hours.

During NSW Government’s investigations in October 2016, the NSW Roads and Maritime Services Department found that for King Georges Road, the traffic volume was around: 

  • On weekdays – 50,000 vehicles (both directions)
  • On Saturday – 48,000 vehicles (both directions)
  • On Sunday – 41,000 vehicles (both directions)
2016 Traffic volume on King Georges Road – both directions

Roads and Maritime Services, NSW Engagement report, June 2018

Project implementation

From 25 June 2018, extended weekday and new weekend clearways became operational on King Georges Road between Stoney Creek Road, Penshurst and Princes Highway, Blakehurst. This complemented the existing clearway further north between Connell’s Point Road and Stoney Creek Road.

Map of clearways on King Georges Road and locations of alternate business parking