With Australia’s roads getting ever more busy, the stresses and strains of driving along crowded coastal routes is persuading more and more grey nomads to head inland.
The prospect of dealing with lane-weaving commuters, impatient truckies, and a constant flow of traffic turning off, and turning on, to the highway is pretty intimidating to travellers in large rigs. After all, the grey nomad experience is supposed to be about de-stressing and feeling relaxed.
But, if a Queensland academic gets his way, the days of grey nomads missing out on some of Australia’s spectacular coastline and top man-made attractions could soon be over.
Griffith University School of Engineering researcher Xiaobo Qu says the introduction of dedicated long distance lanes could ease traffic issues on our busiest highways, particularly during peak hour.
Dr Qu said computer modelling had shown that, for example, the plan could dramatically reduce congestion issues on the M1 between Brisbane and the Gold Coast and prevent gridlock.
“I realised that a great portion of motorists are travelling from the Gold Coast to Brisbane, so this portion of travellers don’t need to change lanes,” he told the Brisbane Times. “But in reality, lane changing is very frequent, so my idea is to reduce the lane changing.”
Dr Qu said the ‘long distance lane’ could operate in a similar fashion to the M1’s T2 lanes, which required at least two people to be in a vehicle and was scrapped by the Newman government in 2013.
“I think there was not enough demand for the T2 because a lot of motorists are the sole occupants, just the driver, with no passengers, so the demand was not enough,” he said. “But with long distance lanes, I believe the demand is enough because from the Gold Coast to Brisbane and from Brisbane to the Gold Coast, the demand would be very high.”
Dr Qu is hoping to present the proposal to the new Palaszczuk government soon.
• Would a ‘long-distance lane’ in which ‘local’ traffic stayed out of your way make you more likely to travel our busier highways? Comment below.