A dedicated lane for long-distance travel has been presented as a solution to gridlock on Queensland’s busiest road – the M1 between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Dr Xiaobo Qu, from the School of Engineering, said computer modelling had shown a dedicated long distance commuter lane (LDC) could ease peak hour traffic on the road.
The LDC lane, which to Dr Qu’s knowledge had not been implemented anywhere in the world, would have an entry and exit points somewhere on the Gold Coast and closer to Brisbane’s CBD.
“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 said.
“But in reality, lane changing is very frequent.
“My idea is to reduce the lane changing, so that’s when the LDC came into my mind.”
Dr Qu said the LDC 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 in 2013.
However, as most commuters drove alone, the proposed LDC lane would be available to all motorists regardless of whether they had any passengers with them.
“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 LDC 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 said he hoped to present the proposal to the new Palaszczuk government soon.
“I’ve discussed this proposal in China and with [Queensland] Transport and Main Roads and I presented this work at a conference in the US,” he said.
“Everyone is interested in this work as a concept, because this is new and nobody is sure if it’s good or not.
“That is why I developed this theoretical framework to assess whether it could be done.”