Reduced speed limits on the M1 could be the new norm if they’re seen to increase safety and reduce crashes during the Commonwealth Games. Picture: Glenn Hampson
Reduced speed limits on the M1 could be the new norm if they’re seen to increase safety and reduce crashes during the Commonwealth Games. Picture: Glenn Hampson

M1 faces permanent speed cuts

SPEED limits could be permanently reduced on the M1 if temporary measures to slow motorists by 10km/h during the Commonwealth Games improve safety and cut congestion.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey said speeds would return to normal on April 17 after the Games, but he wouldn't rule out a permanent reduction in future. He said officials would review Games data on traffic flow, safety and reliability on the M1 to guide decisions about the road's future speed limits.

"A comprehensive review into the effectiveness and performance of all M1 Games initiatives will happen after GC2018," he said.

The Transport Department has already trialled reduced speeds during peak hours on the Centenary Motorway and is armed with reports from NSW and the US that show reducing speeds by 10km/h on motorways decreases the chances of fatalities and crashes.

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart this week stopped short of advocating for a permanent reduction, however he said the measures on the M1, which started on March 1, had already seen speeding offences drop by about 50 per cent.

"I think it's already proving itself to make the road safer, but I also think we've got to understand that this is in the context of all the advertising and all the extra patrols we're doing on the M1," he said.

The Government has warned motorists to expect significant delays and massive congestion on the M1 during peak Games periods.

Limits have been reduced to 100km/h between the Logan Motorway and Gaven, and to 90km/h between Eight Mile Plains and the Logan interchange.

To reduce congestion on the road, the Government has more than tripled services on the Brisbane to Gold Coast train line and has announced that rapid response maintenance hubs will be set up along the line to head off any network issues.



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