Greater Brisbane key corridors performance July-December 2017 | Brisbane City Council

Greater Brisbane key corridors performance July-December 2017

Greater Brisbane road network

This report provides information on the traffic volume and average speed for the Greater Brisbane key transport corridors over the July to December 2017 period. The corridors include Brisbane City Council (Council) and Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) managed roads.

Network summaries are presented in vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) and average network speeds. The report includes information on initiatives being undertaken by both organisations to manage congestion on the road network.

Report findings

There are 38 key corridors, comprising 317.2 km of road, in the Greater Brisbane area. Council manages 18 of these corridors, equating to 102.1km of road and TMR manages the other 20, equating to 215.1 km of road.

Network vehicle kilometres travelled remained consistent compared to the same period last year.

Weekday AM peak average network speed is 35 km/h
Council roads = 28 km/h
TMR roads = 42 km/h
Weekday PM peak average network speed is 38 km/h
Council roads = 34 km/h
TMR roads = 43 km/h
  • Bruce Highway (managed by TMR) is the busiest corridor with an average volume of 163,826 vehicles per day.
  • Cleveland Redland Bay Road (managed by TMR) is the least busy with 17,062 vehicles per day.
  • In the AM peak, October saw the lowest average speed at 33 km/h, while December had the highest average speed at 40 km/h.
  • In the PM peak, November had the lowest average speed at 38 km/h, while September had the highest average speed at 43 km/h.
  • In the AM peak:
    • Centenary Motorway between Logan Motorway and Ipswich Motorway (managed by TMR) had the fastest average speed at 89 km/h (100 km/h speed limit)
    • Stanley Street (managed by Council) had the slowest average speed at 18 km/h (speed limit is 60 km/h with a school zone speed of 40 km/h on this corridor).
  • In the PM peak:
  • Centenary Motorway between Logan Motorway and Ipswich Motorway (managed by TMR) had the fastest average speed at 95 km/h (100 km/h speed limit)
  • Stanley Street (managed by Council) and East-West Arterial-Stafford Road (managed by TMR) had the slowest average speed at 23 km/h (Stanley Street has a speed limit of 60km/h with a school zone speed of 40 km/h, East-West Arterial-Stafford Road has a speed limit of 60km/h).
  • On Council’s 18 key corridors, compared with the same period in 2016:
    • AM peak average speed decreased 2.3% from 29 km/h to 28 km/h
    • PM peak average speed remained constant at 34 km/h.
  • On TMR’s 20 key corridors, compared with the same period in 2016:
    • AM peak average speed remained constant at 42 km/h
    • PM peak average speed decreased by 2.6% from 44 km/h to 43 km/h.

Compiled by Council, with data and analysis jointly undertaken by Council and Department of Transport and Main Roads. Incident data provided by the Brisbane Metropolitan Transport Management Centre (BMTMC).

Greater Brisbane Key Corridors

The volume and speed of the 38 key corridors in the current reporting period (July – December 2017) is compared with the same period in previous year (2016). All traffic volume data takes into account both directions of travel. It includes weekdays only and excludes public holidays. Traffic volumes on TMR’s corridors were taken at the road segment with the highest volume. Council corridor traffic volumes were taken in the middle segment of the corridors.

The average daily traffic volume for the month is the number of vehicles utilising the corridor per day, averaged over all weekdays of the month (excluding public holidays).

AM peak period for TMR corridors is from 6am to 9am as the TMR network is utilised earlier, particularly on the outer edges of the Greater Brisbane road network (for example, the Bruce Highway and the Pacific Motorway). AM peak period for Council corridors is from 7am to 9am. PM peak periods are the same for both TMR and Council corridors, 4pm to 7pm. The monthly AM and PM peak per hour traffic volumes are the average hourly volume for the month over the corresponding AM and PM peak periods, respectively.

Note: Insufficient speed data was available for Pacific Motorway (between Beenleigh North Exit and Gateway Interchange) during the July – December 2017 period.

Volume data for the July – December 2016 period was not available for 4c – Bruce Highway. Therefore, an adjustment was made in the network calculations.

Table: Greater Brisbane Key Corridors July to December 2017

Network vehicle kilometres travelled summary

Average vehicle kilometres travelled of 38 key corridors by month.

Traffic volume and vehicle kilometres travelled

Vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) is a measure of traffic demand on the road network. It is the length of a section of road in kilometres multiplied by the average traffic volume on that section. The daily VKT is the product of the length of the road and average daily traffic (ADT). The monthly VKT is the daily VKT multiplied by the number of weekdays in the analysis period.

The AM peak monthly VKT is the product of the length of the road, the average AM peak hourly traffic volume and number of weekdays in the analysis period.

The PM peak monthly VKT is the product of the length of the road, the average PM peak hourly traffic volume and number of weekdays in the analysis period.

The network VKT is the sum of all the corridors in the network.

Table: Greater Brisbane network vehicle kilometres travelled July to December 2016 to 2017

Use the dropdown menu to change between Brisbane City Council, TMR or Greater Brisbane (all) key corridors.

Average network speed summary

Average speed of 38 key corridors

Average speed in kilometres per hour is a measure of traffic efficiency on the road network. Average speed is calculated using travel times collected from TMR’s and Council’s extensive network of Bluetooth scanners within the Greater Brisbane road network. Average corridor speed includes delays at signalised intersections. Average travel times were collected during the AM and PM peak periods to calculate the average speed of the corridor. Peak periods are similarly defined as in the VKT calculations. AM peak travel time is taken as the inbound direction while the PM peak travel time is the outbound direction.

Table: Greater Brisbane network average speed July to December 2016 and 2017

Use the dropdown to change between Brisbane City Council, TMR or Greater Brisbane (all) key corridors.

State Government Congestion Initiatives

Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has a number of policies, strategies and projects which are addressing traffic congestion and journey reliability in Greater Brisbane, including those listed below.

  • Travel options and travel information – creating a public transport and active transport network that has greater accessibility, frequency and reliability (ongoing funding of principal cycle network, QLDTraffic website and smartphone app, real-time bus information, enhanced train timetable).  QLDTraffic was launched in February 2017, providing dynamic and real-time travel information through a new website https://qldtraffic.qld.gov.au/ and a smartphone app.
  • Development of a Smarter Solutions: Network Optimisation Framework to help identify low-cost and non-infrastructure solutions that effectively respond to capacity and reliability constraints across Queensland’s transport network and within our current fiscal environment.
  • Improved incident management including traffic response units (with Council).
  • Signal network optimisation.
  • Managed motorway operations (for example, South East Freeway ramp signalling, Ipswich Motorway Lane Use Management, Port of Brisbane Variable Speed Limit operations and Bruce Highway ramp signals and variable speed limits).
  • The development of tools to quantify excessive congestion (accepting that a certain level of congestion is inevitable), and using this to prioritise possible upgrade to the network (intersection and route ranking), and quantify the causes of congestion. This tool will assist transport planning and road operations.
  • State-wide rollout of Emergency Vehicle Priority on state-controlled roads with Council.
  • Improved traffic management at roadworks.
  • Using Queensland Government's Project Assurance Framework in investment decision-making to maximise the benefits returned to government from project investments.
  • Increased capacity – there have been significant projects to address the growing traffic demands on the road network such as Gateway Upgrade North and Ipswich Motorway.

Gateway Upgrade North (GUN)

This $1.143 billion project will ease congestion and improve safety on one of Queensland’s busiest motorways. Once completed, the project from Nudgee to Bracken Ridge will increase capacity and freight efficiency along this important corridor.

Carrying more than 83,000 vehicles a day, the Gateway Motorway North experiences high levels of congestion. The project will not only improve travel time reliability, but also improve safety and increase efficiency of the city’s motorway network and connectivity to key urbanised areas.

In particular, the Deagon section has a poor traffic incident record and a high number of merge/weave movements, highlighting the need for significant safety improvements.

The upgrade aims to benefit the community by improving motorist safety, reducing congestion and accommodating future traffic growth.

This project will upgrade the motorway from four to six lanes between Nudgee and Deagon, with additional pavement rehabilitation and safety works through to Bracken Ridge.  It also includes reconfiguring the Nudgee interchange, construction of a new off-road cycle path connecting to local networks, widening of the Deagon Deviation to two lanes in each direction between Depot and Bracken Ridge Roads, and provision of a grade-separated interchange between the Gateway Motorway and the Deagon Deviation at Deagon.

Early works began in 2014, and major construction activities commenced in early 2016. This project is scheduled for completion in late 2018.

The Gateway Upgrade North project is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($914.18 million) and Queensland Government ($228.54 million) on a 80:20 split.  The upgrade is being delivered by TMR, with Transurban Queensland engaged to assist in managing the delivery of the major works package.

Ipswich Motorway Upgrade: Rocklea to Darra – Stage 1 project

The Ipswich Motorway Upgrade: Rocklea to Darra – Stage 1 project (R2D – stage 1) is a $400 million project jointly funded by the Australian Government and the Queensland Government, with each committing $200 million.

The project covers the three kilometre section from Granard Road, Rocklea to east of Oxley Road, Oxley. This is the most critical section of the remaining seven kilometres of the motorway still to be upgraded. Upgrading the remaining four kilometres of the Ipswich Motorway, between Oxley Road and the Centenary Motorway, is still a priority, but subject to available funding.

In April 2017, TMR appointed Bielby Hull Albem Joint Venture (BHA JV), a Queensland owned joint venture, as the contractor for the three kilometre upgrade.

The local community and businesses will benefit from the upgrade through improved road safety and better local connectivity. Motorists on this section of the Ipswich Motorway will also benefit from improved traffic flow and improved flood immunity.

Works on this section will include:

  • upgrading the motorway from four to six lanes
  • seven new bridges, including higher bridges over Oxley Creek to improve flood immunity
  • a new northern service road connection over Oxley Creek floodplain
  • a new southern service road connection from the Rocklea industrial precinct to the Oxley commercial and retail areas
  • better access onto the northern service road at the Granard Road interchange
  • new traffic signals at the Suscatand Street intersection.

Works will be staged to effectively manage the upgrade of the motorway while under live traffic conditions. The project will improve traffic flow and reduce congestion creating more reliable, consistent travel times. It will also improve safety, local connectivity and flood immunity. Construction commenced late October 2017 and is expected to be completed by late 2020.

Variable Speed Limit Signs – Western Freeway (Outbound)

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) will be installing variable speed limit signs (VSLS) along a four kilometre stretch of the Western Freeway (outbound), between Waverley Road Overpass and Figtree Pocket Road Overpass.

TMR is taking steps to reduce the potential of accidents and reduce congestion for the 37,000 road users who travel this Western Freeway section daily.

This section of road experiences a high level of congestion during afternoon peak and would greatly benefit from VSLS.  VSLS will change speed in gradual steps to optimise flow and improve travel time. 

Safety benefits will include the reduction of secondary incidents (rear end crashes). 

New VSLS will be installed at the following six locations:

  • after Waverley Road Overpass
  • near Moggill Road off-ramp
  • on Moggill Road on-ramp
  • after Russell Terrace/Moggill Road on-ramp
  • after Jerrang Street Overpass
  • on Figtree Pocket Road on-ramp

The construction cost is estimated to be $1 million. The installation commenced in the second half of 2017 and is expected to be completed by February/March 2018.

Council congestion initiatives

Major Projects

Council is committed to taking real action on traffic congestion and improving safety and access across the city through a network-wide focus on traffic improvements to meet current and future traffic volumes along Brisbane’s road network corridors. This aligns with Council’s new draft Transport Plan for Brisbane – Strategic Directions to manage road network congestion and travel demand to facilitate the efficient and timely movement of goods, services and passengers.

Key projects including major road construction and intersection upgrades support Council’s commitment to building an improved road and transport network across Brisbane. To improve access to major transport networks, Council is also working to minimise traffic congestion and to improve safety in local areas by constructing intersections, corridor upgrades and minor road projects.

Such major projects are profiled below.

Profile: Progress Road upgrade: stage 4

Council is upgrading Progress Road between Boundary Road and the Centenary Motorway at Wacol to improve safety, flood immunity and increase capacity to cater for future traffic growth.

Traffic surveys show Progress Road carries approximately 15,000 vehicles per day and up to 700 vehicles per hour in peak times. Progress Road is classified as a primary freight access route and a B-Double route, with truck volumes along the corridor representing up to 14% of vehicle movements.

Traffic modelling predicts that by 2031, traffic volumes will exceed the current single lane capacity between Boundary Road and the Centenary Motorway, which will lead to increased congestion and crash risks.

This project is the final of four stages to upgrade Progress Road between the Ipswich Motorway and Poinsettia Street, and is jointly funded by Council and the Australian Government.

The project involves:

  • widening the existing road to five lanes (three lanes eastbound and two lanes westbound) to increase capacity and cater for future traffic growth in the area
  • installing a centre median island for road safety
  • upgrading the signalised intersection at the Komatsu access
  • replacing Bullockhead Creek culverts with a new bridge to improve flood immunity
  • installing on-road bike lanes in both directions on Progress Road
  • installing a three metre wide shared pathway on the north side and a 1.8 metre wide pedestrian path on the south side of Progress Road
  • installing a new 12 space car park at Progress Road Park
  • installing new LED street lighting
  • landscaping and creek revegetation works.

Construction started in December 2017 and is expected to be complete in early 2019.

Profile: Stapylton Road and Johnson Road intersection upgrade

Council is upgrading the Stapylton Road and Johnson Road intersection at Heathwood. The intersection currently operates over capacity during peak periods with queue lengths and delays increasing the crash risk at this busy intersection.

The upgrade, jointly funded by Brisbane City Council and Logan City Council, will reduce congestion and improve safety and access for all road users travelling through the area.

Council is committed to reducing congestion and improving safety and access across the city through a network-wide focus on traffic improvements to meet current and future traffic volumes along Brisbane's road network corridors.

The project will involve:

  • installing traffic signals and centre medians at the intersection
  • widening the road to provide two through-lanes on Johnson Road on both approaches to the intersection
  • installing two dedicated right turn lanes from Johnson Road east to Stapylton Road north
  • installing two dedicated left turn lanes from Stapylton Road north to Johnson Road east with a combined through and right turn lane into Johnson Road west
  • installing a left turn slip-lane from Johnson Road west into Stapylton Road north and maintaining the right-turn pocket into Stapylton Road south
  • installing signalised pedestrian crossings on both Stapylton Road approaches and the western Johnson Road approach
  • installing a pedestrian footpath on the south-eastern side of the intersection along Johnson Road
  • installing two metre wide on-road cycle lanes on the Johnson Road approaches and the northern Stapylton Road approach. The cycle lanes will range in length from 120 to 320 metres
  • installing fauna fencing and a fauna crossing in the drainage culvert under Johnson Road.

Construction on the Stapylton Road and Johnson Road intersection upgrade started in January 2018 and is expected to be complete by late 2018.

Major Traffic Improvements - Intersections

Profile: Shaw Road sports precinct intersection upgrade

Council is upgrading the Shaw Road sports precinct intersection, Wavell Heights, to improve access, safety and reduce congestion. This project caters for existing and future traffic demands, ensuring we have the infrastructure in place to meet the needs of future generations.

Shaw Road caters to a high volume of vehicle, cyclist and pedestrian traffic, provides an important connection to the sports precinct and intersects the Kedron Brook Bikeway, one of Brisbane’s busiest bike and pedestrian pathways.

Shaw Road carries approximately 18,500 vehicles per day, with significant peaks in the morning and afternoon. The community have previously raised concerns about the safety of pedestrian crossing facilities available at Shaw Road.

Council is installing new traffic signals at the intersection of Shaw Road and the sports precinct access road.

The project involves:

  • signalising the intersection of Shaw Road and the sports precinct access road
  • providing dedicated pedestrian and cyclist crossing facilities at the new traffic signals
  • providing two new, sealed, off-road car parks with a total capacity of up to 70 vehicles
  • widening the west side of Shaw Road at the intersection, to provide an additional through lane on Shaw Road in both directions, during peak periods
  • providing 4.2m wide kerbside lanes for shared vehicle and cycle use
  • relocating the southbound bus zone on Shaw Road to the south of the sports precinct entrance
  • relocating the northbound bus zone on Shaw Road to the north of the sports precinct entrance
  • providing separated right and left turn lanes exiting the sports precinct
  • upgrading shared pathway connections on both sides of Shaw Road
  • landscaping.

Construction started in November 2017 and is expected to be complete mid-2018.

Major Traffic Improvements – Intersections

Profile: Boundary Road and Whites Hill Reserve intersection upgrade

The intersection of Boundary Road and Whites Hill Reserve access road, Coorparoo is being upgraded to provide a signalised intersection. This will reduce congestion and enhance safety at the intersection by improving access into and out of Whites Hill Reserve.

The Boundary Road and Whites Hill Reserve access road intersection is the only access point for vehicles to Whites Hill Reserve, which contains multiple sports fields and recreation areas. This intersection requires upgrading as it is significantly over capacity, with queues of approximately 600 metres frequently forming to exit the reserve in peak periods.

This project aligns with Council’s commitment to tackling traffic congestion, through a network-wide focus on traffic improvements to meet the needs of current and future generations.

Council has identified the need to upgrade the intersection, by installing traffic signals to support safe movements. When complete, the intersection upgrade will also reduce delays during peak periods for motorists exiting Whites Hill Reserve onto Boundary Road.

The project involves:

  • signalising the Boundary Road and Whites Hill Reserve access road intersection
  • constructing new left and right turn lanes on Boundary Road
  • constructing new left and right turn lanes on the access road
  • installing traffic islands
  • associated turfing and landscaping works.

Construction started in October 2017 and is expected to be complete early to mid-2018, weather permitting.

Congestion Busting Projects

Arterial Road Program (ARP)

Brisbane City Council’s Arterial Road Program (ARP) delivers low-cost, high-impact projects to reduce traffic congestion across Brisbane.

The ARP uses reputed traffic signal intersection modelling software, SIDRA (Signalised and unsignalised Intersection Design and Research Aid), as the primary decision-making tool to determine the value for money of project works undertaken.

The following case studies look at two types of projects delivered from the ARP. The first type uses existing road space and reconfigures it by making changes to line markings, medians and signage. The second type involves the construction of additional road space on the network to achieve minor road widening or lengthening.

Case study: Road space reconfiguration

Example: Wellington Road at Stanley Street, East Brisbane

Wellington Road and Stanley Street, East Brisbane are both classified as arterial roads under Council’s Road Hierarchy. These roads are an important link in the wider network and cross other major arterial roads such as Vulture Street, East Brisbane.

The signalised intersection of Wellington Road and Stanley Street carries approximately 4000 and 3000 vehicles per hour in the AM and PM peaks respectively, and approximately 44,500 vehicles in total per day.

The ARP determined that the congestion caused by the left turning demand from Wellington Road into Stanley Street could be addressed by providing an additional left turn lane.

There was sufficient road space on Wellington Road to provide an additional left turn lane, by reconfiguring the through lane to allow for a shared left turn movement at the Stanley Street intersection. To further improve the traffic operation and increase the safety of pedestrians, this project also involved modifications to the traffic signals and the associated civil works, including alterations to the traffic island on Stanley Street.

This low-cost, high-impact project was delivered in November 2017.

Case study: Road space construction

Example: Lytton Road at Creek Road and Metroplex Avenue, Murarrie (combined two projects)

Creek Road is classified as an arterial road under Council’s Road Hierarchy. It extends from Lytton Road, Murarrie, to Logan Road, Mount Gravatt East. It is an important link between the north–eastern and the inner south-eastern suburbs, and provides connectivity between other major arterial roads such as Wynnum Road, Old Cleveland Road, Logan Road and the Gateway Motorway.

The turning demand from Creek Road northbound into Lytton Road eastbound, and from Lytton Road westbound into Creek Road southbound, is heavily utilised during peak hours and often exceeded capacity.

To address this congestion, Council provided an additional right turn lane on Lytton Road western approach and widened Creek Road southern approach, to separate the shared through and right turn lane. This was completed by providing an additional lane to accommodate two right turn lanes, a through lane and a left turn slip lane at this intersection.

These works were achieved by shaving the existing median islands on Creek Road southern approach and Lytton Road western approach, as well as widening the western side of Creek Road to accommodate the additional right turning lane. The widening works involved cutting into the kerb, as well as partially realigning and reconstructing the footpath and the left turn slip lane, to give sufficient width to accommodate the new right turn lane.

This combined, high-impact project was delivered in October 2017.

Creek Road approach improvement works:


Lytton Road approach improvement works:

Congestion Busting Projects July to December 2017

The following projects were completed within this reporting period.

Street location Suburb Project description Completed
Creek Road at Metroplex Avenue Murarrie Reconfigured Creek Road southern approach to two dedicated right turn lanes, a through lane and an extended left turn slip lane Oct 17
Lytton Road at Creek Road Murrarie Provided double right turn on Lytton Road western approach Oct 17
Compton Road at Acacia Road Karawatha Provided three approach lanes on Acacia Road. Extended right turn lane on Compton Road western approach Aug 17
Wellington Road at Stanley Street East Brisbane Provided double left turn lanes on Wellington Road southern approach. Realigned traffic lanes to provide four lanes between Trafalgar Street and Stanley Street Nov 17
Dawson Parade at Madsen Street Keperra Provided a dedicated right turn lane on Dawson Road southbound at Madsen Street Dec 17
Dawson Road at Newnham Road Upper Mount Gravatt Extended right turn lane on Dawson Road western approach Nov 17
Samford Road between Railway Street and Enoggera Road Enoggera Installed ‘No Stopping at all times’ signage on Samford Road eastbound between Railway Street and Enoggera Road Dec 17
Toombul Road at Northlink Place Northgate Extended approach lanes on Northlink Place  Oct 17
Leopard Street between Mark Lane and Vulture Street Kangaroo Point Installed ‘7am - 7pm Monday to Friday Clearway’ signage on Leopard Street northern approach Dec 17

Factors affecting network performance

Traffic volume and travel times are also affected by other factors, including traffic incidents. These incidents, such as accidents, extreme weather and planned events, influence the amount of congestion experienced on the roads. Depending on the timing, location, severity and duration, an incident may have minimal effect on the road network or cause gridlock in large parts of the city.

Specific incidents can have a greater impact on the road network. Emergency works, for example water main repairs on the Bruce Highway, can have a significant impact on the average incident clearance times, and hence the journey times. Incidents that require emergency service attendance can take up to four hours to clear, depending on the severity and location of the incident.

There are also locations within the city that are particularly susceptible to excess congestion when a minor incident happens. Examples of these include Hale Street and Merivale Street.

The BMTMC continue to proactively manage incidents as they happen to minimise impacts to residents, businesses and travellers within Greater Brisbane. The data detailed in this report specifically analysed significant incidents that had the potential to have a major impact on the road network. BMTMC collected and compiled this incident data for roads throughout the Greater Brisbane metropolitan area.

Significant incident data

This data is a collection of traffic crashes, hazards and stationary vehicles that impacted the road network. It does not cover planned events/roadworks, alerts, congestion incidents, or quick clearance towing for TMR and Council clearway towing.

Month  Number of incidents Average durations (HH:MM:SS)
July 254 00:49:32
August 347 00:51:52
September 292 01:06:25
October 358 01:15:10
November 318 00:52:02
December 298 01:02:40
Average 311 00:59:37

Range of durations of significant incidents

This graph shows the range of durations1 in minutes of significant incidents.

1 Incident duration is measured from the time BMTMC is notified about the incident until the time the incident is resolved (cleared from the road).

03 April 2018