Working smarter to reduce crashes and improve traffic flow


20 August 2019

Drivers heading east on Sydney's M7 know about the morning peak congestion near the M2. But it’s not just the amount of traffic slowing them down.

Throw in crashes caused by stop-start traffic, sudden braking and last minute lane changes and the congestion and reliability only worsens.

To work smarter, the Transurban Traffic Team and Westlink M7 have the implemented an innovative Smart Motorway solution which has achieved some impressive results.

Based on real time traffic data, the team trialled ‘proactively' reducing speeds just before congestion forms. The 6 month Trial was aimed at smoothing traffic flow and reducing shockwave intensity, to improve road safety and travel reliability.

By improving the control of traffic flow, the Trial has reduced the intensity of those ‘sudden speed drops’ (shockwaves). By doing so, Trial has reduced morning eastbound crashes from 5 to 0 (compared to a common pre-trial period).

The Trial’s smoother traffic flow has also reduced the duration of congestion by approximately 10min whilst decreasing queue lengths by approximately 500m.

Because this is innovative, a significant amount of planning and engagement was required. This successful innovation is now used regularly by Westlink M7 operators




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