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Commuting times (mainly by car)

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:25 pm
by Roderick Smith

Melbourne traffic hitting peak hour highs as workers spend an average of 500 hours commuting each year.
Herald Sun February 25, 2017.
VICTORIAN workers are spending an average of 500 hours commuting each year, with the peak-hour slog ­continuing to worsen.
Drivers are now stuck in gridlock for an extra 34 minutes each day during peak hour, compared with off-peak times.
And the news is even worse for those Melburnians who have to make cross-city trips — they log up to 1000 hours on the road every year getting to and from work.
The figures from the TomTom traffic index come as a snapshot of the Victorian transport system reveals the frustration faced by drivers, mostly in and around Melbourne.
Traffic congestion has hit 33 per cent, up 4 per cent in the past year, with Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings the worst peak times.
In an RACV survey of commuter habits, 600 participants from across the state recorded their regular journey times, and even those who use public transport for part or all of the journeys are being worn down.
Traffic congestion has hit 33 per cent, up 4 per cent in the past year. Picture: Mark Stewart
Cross-city trips such as Berwick to Tullamarine hit almost 132 minutes each way, while those coming from Geelong take almost two hours to get to Malvern.
But motorists travelling through the inner city felt the most pain, with destinations less than 30km away taking up to two hours to reach.
One commuter recorded spending two hours each way travelling from Beaumaris in Melbourne’s southeast to Hawthorn, just 20km away. Another driver spent 80 minutes in traffic travelling between Heathmont and Windsor.
Sydney is still Australia’s commuting blackspot, but Melbourne’s congestion increase over the past year is the biggest in the country, and it now ranks as the 58th most congested city in the world.
Melbourne’s congestion increase over the past year is the biggest in the country. Picture: Mark Stewart
Brian Negus, RACV general manager for public policy, said the results showed how vital it was for main roads to be kept clear.
“It’s obvious we need longer clearways on a number of our major routes that commuters use every day. We also want to see 24/7 clearways on the major arterials,” he said. The RACV has highlighted Hoddle St, the Nepean Hwy and Warrigal Rd as being among the worst thoroughfares in the city.
Mr Negus also called for the ­removal of on-street parking on major tram routes to free up space for cars and reduce bottlenecks.
“The tram delays we’re seeing in Melbourne are totally unacceptable,” he said. “We need to find ­alternative locations for car parking and free up those roads.”
Roads Minister Luke Donnellan insisted the government was “getting on with projects that will relieve traffic congestion for motorists”.
“Our record investment in roads and public transport infrastructure will increase capacity and ensure that Victorians have more choices closer to where they live,” he said.
Shop assistant Tim Deaner said he felt stressed by his one-hour daily commute each way from Cranbourne West to Burwood East.
Shop assistant Tim Deaner. Picture: Jason Edwards.
“I don’t like knowing that I’ll be stuck in traffic. I spent months looking for a job and when one was ­offered I had to take it even though I knew there would be a lot of travel involved,” he said.
Similarly, 21-year-old Kaitlin Rapecis said she struggled through her daily commute from Belgrave to Pascoe Vale and relied heavily on traffic reports to navigate her journey, which could take up to 90 minutes each way. “Either you get up before the sun rises and get to work an hour early, or you leave a bit later in the name of a sleep-in and take a chance. I don’t think the current conditions are up to scratch,” Ms Rapecis added.
•Peak traffic now lasts 3.75 hours, dire report reveals.
•Major parking bans to be widened to combat Melbourne gridlock. ... cf998cda13

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