Peak hour congestion a matter of choice for many drivers, finds national survey

May 03, 2013
Parramatta Road, one of Sydney's most congested roads. Credit: Flickr/Tony Rodd

At least one in three drivers who commute to work during peak periods in most major cities do not need to do so and could significantly reduce traffic congestion by simply choosing a different time to travel, according to a University of Sydney Business School survey.

In Sydney, Australia's largest and most congested city, the number of peak hour drivers who said they could leave home at a different time in order to avoid was one in four.

The quarterly Transport Opinion Survey (TOPS) was conducted by the Business School's Institute of Transport and Logistic Studies (ITLS).

It found that a peak period (7am to 9am, and 4.30pm to 6.30pm) charge of around five cents per kilometre on major roads could encourage up to 35 percent of people who commute by car to travel at a different time or shift to public transport.

"We are often told that commuters have no flexibility in the time that they travel and yet these findings suggest otherwise," said ITLS Director, Professor David Hensher. "A fall of about six percent of peak hour trips would make a significant difference to our current levels of congestion."

The survey indicated that peak hour road pricing could encourage around 13 percent of to shift to public transport and 22 percent to drive to work during an off peak period.

"This suggests that there is scope to reduce traffic congestion through road pricing while not impacting on work choices," Professor Hensher said. "As we search for ways to reduce congestion on our roads during peak travelling times, these findings are very encouraging."

TOPS also looked at attitudes towards transport and found that are now less confident about the prospects of improvement in local transport than they were when first surveyed in March 2010.

However, Australians are slightly more confident than they were at the time of the last TOPS in September last year.

The latest survey also found that 53 percent of Australians saw improvements as the highest priority.

TOPS is the only national survey to measure public opinion on transport related issues.

Explore further: Four questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New study examines traffic congestion on a university campus

Mar 25, 2008

Some researchers believe that the United States is in a “congestion crisis”. Indeed, national transportation statistics indicate that 42 percent more vehicles used each urban lane mile in 2000 than in 1980, tripling the ...

Australian cycling boom a myth

Jun 28, 2012

(Phys.org) -- There has been a decline in the per capita level of cycling in Australia, with population growth three times that of recent increases in cycling trips, according to research by University of Sydney Professor ...

Recommended for you

Four questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

Apr 19, 2014

Travelers at Asian airports have asked questions about the March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Here are some of them, followed by answers.

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

Apr 18, 2014

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...

Freight train industry to miss safety deadline

Apr 16, 2014

The U.S. freight railroad industry says only one-fifth of its track will be equipped with mandatory safety technology to prevent most collisions and derailments by the deadline set by Congress.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Hackers of Oman news agency target Bouteflika

Hackers on Sunday targeted the website of Oman's official news agency, singling out and mocking Algeria's newly re-elected president Abdelaziz Bouteflika as a handicapped "dictator".

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...