Advertiser – 7/6/2018
Adelaide motorists are refusing to use public transport and jamming roads with too many cars
ADELAIDE commuters are refusing to ditch their cars in favour of public transport, bucking a nationwide trend seen in other major Australian cities.Only 10 per cent of Adelaide commuters use only the city’s public transport for their daily commute, a figure almost unchanged in 12 years. It is the worst of any mainland capital city.And the trend is having a clogging effect on the city’s roads, adding 26 minutes to the daily two-way commute for workers during peak hour.
The 2018 Public Transport Barometer, released today in Adelaide by the peak industry group the Tourism and Transport Forum, finds traffic chaos on key city routes was costing the Australian economy $16.5 billion. Barometer author Simon Barrett said the paper sent a clear message to the SA and Federal Governments to spend more on congestion-busting projects.“Without (this) the cost of congestion and the negative impact on people’s day-to-day lives will continue to skyrocket,” he said.
“Increasing congestion levels in Australia are estimated to cost $16.5 billion to metropolitan cities — $6 billion in private time costs, $8 billion in business time costs, $1.5 billion in extra vehicle operating costs and $1 billion in additional air pollution costs.’’
Adelaide recorded 80,000 less public transport trips in 2017 than 2016, with a total of 14 million rail trips, 51 million bus trips and more than nine million light rail trips. People for Public Transport spokeswoman Josephine Bucchorn urged the State Government to do more to make public transport enticing. “There needs to be safe, cheap and abundant parking at public transport hubs in the suburbs,” Ms Bucchorn said. “The cost of parking at those sites should be taken off the price of the metro ticket.” Ms Bucchorn said free public travel should be expanded throughout the CBD and surrounding suburbs especially during events.
In other capitals, commuters have decreased their reliance on cars in the past eight years. In Sydney, between 2006 and 2017, public transport use increased from 22 per cent to 25 per cent. Melbourne had a similar increase 15 per cent to 17 per cent and Perth grew from 10 per cent to 11 per cent.
Adelaide last year also lost its crown as the most commuter-friendly car city in peak hour. A one-hour round-trip in non-peak-hour Adelaide traffic increases by 26 minutes in peak hour. In Perth, this figure is 25 minutes. Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll said the government had plans to ease traffic congestion. This included changes which began on June 1 to fine road works companies up to $50,000 for causing undue delays by their works, including by leaving signs erected when there were no workers present. “The upgrades to the North-South Corridor and our GlobeLink plan will help divert freight trucks and trains off other metropolitan roads and rail lines, easing traffic congestion,” he said.
RAA spokesman Charles Mountain said infrastructure upgrades were the key to improving travel times. “Our 2017 survey showed that the slowest routes were Main North Rd, Greenhill Rd, Grange Rd, Unley Rd, Prospect Rd and Marion Rd,’’ he said. “Trams crossing on Marion Rd near Cross Rd contributed to congestion on this route due to regular activation and the Transport Department is looking at options for this route.
“The planned grade separation on Diagonal Rd near Morphett Rd will also reduce congestion on this route caused by regular level crossing activations.
“The need for the north-south corridor to be completed is highlighted as this will reduce pressure on Marion Rd and Goodwood Rd both of which have seen travel times slow.”
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