If you’ve ever driven between Sydney Airport and the Sydney CBD, you would know of the notorious congestion near the Cleveland Street off-ramp on the Eastern Distributor. Motorists would regularly queue at the Cleveland Street intersection and spill back onto the motorway.

This queuing caused erratic and last minute manoeuvres by motorists. It also created turbulence in the traffic flow, often reducing the busy inner-city motorway down to one lane and causing delays throughout the inner city suburbs of Waterloo and Surry Hills.

The Transurban Traffic Network Optimisation Team recognises that when something is inefficient, it is also often unsafe. The team constantly monitors the safety and travel reliability of our motorways.

We work with our government partners in each state to look for ways to improve traffic flow, efficiency and safety. Working with the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) we identified the Cleveland Street off-ramp as an area for improvement for the motorway and local streets.

In July 2017, Transurban and RMS began a six-month trial, which saw the off-ramp closed 24 hours per day, seven days per week. In the lead up to the trial, we worked with RMS to undertake thorough traffic modelling, Road Safety Audits and community engagement, which resulted in the decision to trial the off-ramp closure.

Since the off-ramp closure, weekday motorway speeds have improved by five per cent, while weekend journey speeds on local roads have improved by six per cent.

Aside from smoother traffic flow and travel reliability, the closure has also increased safety on the motorway and local streets for the city.

The closure of the off-ramp demonstrates how our team addresses safety pinch points and improves the travel reliability performance of the roads we manage. It is also a great example of how we work with state road authorities to combine data and improve travel times and safety for customers.

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