Freeway changes to avoid confusion

New merge lines will be introduced on all entrances to the Mitchell and Kwinana freeways in an attempt to reduce confusion and improve traffic flow.

Dotted lines will show where a car can accelerate to freeway speed before merging into the freeway, giving way to freeway traffic as they do so.

Previous entrances to the freeways had no separate merge lane, meaning that the vehicle in front had the right of way.

This caused confusion during peak periods as drivers would speed up so they could merge before other cars.

Main Roads Western Australia program director James Dobinson likened the new merging system to changing lanes.

An infographic released by Main Roads WA says the three new steps to merge are to “get up to speed and indicate, merge earlier and let people in”.

In 2014 a trial was set up at three freeway on-ramps which resulted in more efficient merging and traffic flow during peak periods, Mr Dobinson said.

Western Australian Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the changes would improve the often congested freeways.

“To be frank, West Australians do not have a great reputation when it comes to merging.  By adopting smarter transport options, we can improve merging, reduce congestion and enhance safety,” Mr Nalder said.

The roadworks on the Mitchell and Kwinana freeways cost the Federal Government $8.5 million and are due to finish later this month.

Perth driver Helen Tilby noticed traffic was still congested during peak hour today.

“It was still very difficult merging onto the freeway but maybe when people become more used to the new merging rules, it will help improve traffic flow and congestion,” she said.