M1 to get variable speed limits to help ease gridlock

The State Government is set to introduce variable speed limits on the M1 to try and help ease congestion on the busy motorway.

It follows a review into a number of initiatives that were introduced for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The maximum speed limits of 100 and 110 will remain in place when traffic is quiet, but new signs will be installed to allow authorities to reduce the limit after an accident or when there is congestion.


Transport and Roads Minister Mark Bailey says it depends on the incident as to when the variable limits would be used.

“It could be someone’s had a crash that needs to be managed, it could be bad weather or it could be a range of real-time scenarios,” Mr Bailey said.

“Of course the M1 is watched and monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so if we see congestion that needs dealing with then variable speed limits coming down will help.”

Mr Bailey says the measure has worked in other parts of the State.

“This has reduced the morning peak on the Bruce Highway from 4.5 hours down to 2 hours by having variable speed limits during those congested periods,” he said.

Other measures that were introduced for the Commonwealth Games will now become permanent features including restricting trucks to the left hand lanes.

Ramp metering that was introduced for the Games at several M1 on-ramps will also remain in place.

Minister Bailey says the measures would also be rolled out on all of the motorway upgrades at the Gateway Merge and between Mudgeeraba and Varsity Lakes once they are completed.

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And what moron came up with this idea? It stands to reason that when there is an accident or when there is heavy congestion, traffic automatically slows down – signage is not necessary. I’m on the M1 between GC and just south of Brisbane every day – variable speed limits will not help with the “volume” of cars on the only north/south corridor.

Just build a second motorway to help us move better rather than frustrate us more by slowing us down. With the amount of traffic increase forecast over the next 2-3 years on the M1 no amount of slowing us down will help. We’ll all be sitting still anyway. Lower limits will mean more fines so I guess one option costs money and the other makes money.

The logic of our state government is ridiculous. If the M1 is congested or there’s an accident it stands to reason that traffic is already going to be slow there’s really not much of a choice.. Adding signage is a waste of money and unnecessary. I really don’t see the logic behind ramp metering either.

The trucks being permanently to the left 2x lanes is also friggen annoying. It’s so frustrating trying to merge into a lane and having to be wait for several dozen semi trailers to pass me before I can get in.

All silly ideas and more ways for the govt to waste tax payer money.