Traffic congestion on Australian roads is increasing with average driving speeds declining rapidly year after year, a new report has shown.
Sydney has taken the crown for Australia’s most congested city in free-flowing traffic, however Adelaide has been named the slowest moving city with an average speed of 54.3 kilometres per hour, the new Australian Automobile Association (AAA) report shows.
The five-year study used road metric data to analyse a handful of key routes across our capital cities, and the results aren’t good news for drivers.
Speeds in the South Australian capital fell by 2.5 per cent, while speeds in Sydney fell by 2.6 per cent to 58.2 km/h. Average speeds declined more in Melbourne than in any other city, dropping 8.2 per cent to 59.9 km/h. Perth was the fourth worst city (61.6 km/h), followed by Hobart (65 km/h) and Canberra (65.6 km/h).
Brisbane is no longer the city that suffers the least amount of congestion, it pipped to the post by Darwin, which has the highest average speed at 72.2 km/h. Brisbane’s average speed dropped 3.7 per cent to 71.5 km/h over the year.
“No-one benefits from congestion, and everyone pays. But to develop effective solutions for congestion, we first need a strong understanding of the problem,” AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley says. “This report confirms what most people living in and around our capital cities know all too well – traffic congestion is growing worse year after year.”
The report comes after a proposal was floated earlier this year to let drivers forgo traditional road tolls and instead fork out every time they use their car in busy areas.
The plan, introduced by Infrastructure Australia (IA) Chair Julieanne Alroe, is similar to the system already in place in London, where drivers pay a direct fee depending on which roads they use. The system was introduced in the British capital 15 years ago in an effort to reduce congestion in the tourist mecca and free up space for cyclists and public transport.
Alroe suggested Australia follow a similar route as a way of raising money for the government and syphoning money from electric car drivers, who are able to avoid paying the fuel excise by charging their cars at power stations instead.
Currently, Aussies are able to avoid most road tolls if they wish, but if the IA plan goes ahead, a quick trip to the city will cost a whole lot more. It appears the government is already on board with the idea, with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, telling news.com.au that Australia needed to “look at new way of doing things” on the road.