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Traffic nightmare: Congestion in Melbourne tipped to get ‘much worse’ than it was before COVID-19

3AW Breakfast
Article image for Traffic nightmare: Congestion in Melbourne tipped to get ‘much worse’ than it was before COVID-19

A traffic nightmare is looming in Melbourne, with modelling from Victoria’s peak infrastructure body revealing an expected 15 per cent rise in the number of car trips taken on inner-Melbourne roads.

Traffic is currently at 92 per cent of pre-COVID levels, and Infrastructure Victoria expects it to climb to 100,000 more car trips per day than pre-COVID levels, unless the state government intervenes.

It comes as Melburnians are slow to return to public transport as they return to offices.

Deputy Chief Executive of Infrastructure Victoria, Jonathan Spear, says “we’re going to have much worse congestion” in the inner suburbs than before the pandemic.

“We’re looking at having about 15 per cent more driving around that area, that’s about 100,000 more car trips per day on top of what we had pre-COVID,” he told Ross and Russel.

Mr Spear says staggering work times and encoraging more people to walk or cycle to work will be the key to avoiding congestion nightmares in the inner suburbs.

“If we can do these things … that will reduce the congestion on the roads, it will maximise our ability to actually socially distance on public transport and it will mean we’re setting ourselves up better habits, and a better way of getting around the city than we did pre-COVID,” he said.

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