Traffic expert says claims peak hour East West Link traffic would be reduced to 30km/h in 2031 are incorrect

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Melbourne Leader: Traffic expert says claims peak hour East West Link traffic would be reduced to 30km/h in 2031 are incorrect. Nic Price. 7 March 2014

A media report that cars using the East West Link during peak hour in 2031 would be reduced to just 30km/h is incorrect, according to a traffic expert.

Stephen Pelosi, of movendo, was engaged by the State Government’s Linking Melbourne Authority and presented evidence yesterday at the planning panel hearing on the tunnel.

He was reported in The Age newspaper as saying average speeds would be reduced to about 30km/h as the tunnel neared capacity in 2031, just 12 years after completion.

But Mr Pelosi told the Leader traffic was likely to travel at speeds in the “mid to high 70s” in 2031 (with a speed limit of 80km/h).

“In peak periods it will start to get close to capacity. Not in both directions necessarily, but in one direction it might start to get close to what it theoretically can carry,” Mr Pelosi said.

“That would result in a slight decline from a free flow.”

Mr Pelosi said traffic volume could be managed by moving toll rates to affect demand.

Government traffic modelling predicts the link will carry 80,000 vehicles a day when it opens in 2019, growing to 100,000 to 120,000 a day by 2031.

Mr Pelosi said modelling did not extend beyond 2031.

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