The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) said on Wednesday that an independent study had shown an improvement in traffic around Johannesburg, owing to the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) upgrades.
Citing information collected by navigation products provider TomTom, it stated that the overall average travel time on the N1 North road section from Buccleuch to Old Johannesburg Road off ramp had been reduced by 50%.
A TomTom study, which collected information from vehicles fitted with GPS’s, showed that the average travel time had been reduced to 13 minutes.
The most noteworthy finding of the study was the improvement in the average speed through the Allandale interchange, which had risen to 70 km/h, Sanral stated.
Allandale is one of the busiest interchanges in Gauteng with over 200 000 trips taking place daily on this section of the N1. The new Allandale interchange was opened to the public in June 2011 and features a free flow design without any traffic lights, requiring no stopping through the interchange.
“The improvement in travel time and average speeds was achieved despite a 28% increase in traffic volumes for this road section, from before the GFIP implementation until thereafter. These improved travel conditions also reflect the other benefits of the GFIP including improved fuel consumption and reduced vehicle running costs. Improved visibility from the median lights that span the entire upgraded road network will also aid in improving road safety,” Sanral said.
In 2011, technology corporation IBM’s global commuter pain survey also revealed that Johannesburg was one of 14 cities surveyed that experienced improvements in traffic flow between 2010 and 2011.
This was at a time when many of the GFIP road improvements were nearing completion. “We are therefore confident that when fully completed, the benefits of the project would be realised and enjoyed by all road users across the entire GFIP network, including the sections on the N12 that are still under construction,” Sanral said.
Electronic tolling on the 561 km of upgraded highways was meant to start on April 30, but was postponed.