Motorists on State Highway 1 and 76 driving into and around Christchurch have access to real-time travel information from today (Friday, 31 January).
Three Variable Messaging Signs (VMS) on the highways are now displaying travel times to various destinations on the two routes.
Christchurch Transport Operations Centre (CTOC) Board Chair John Mackie says this information will enable motorists to make informed decisions about the routes on which they drive around the city.
Work began last December installing sensors along State Highway 1 from Belfast to Hornby and the new Christchurch Southern Motorway (SH76) from Hornby to Lyttelton to collect travel data to be displayed along the two routes and uploaded to the www.transportforchristchurch.govt.nz(external link) website.
Road users can use the virtual VMS on the website to check journey times before leaving for work or home.
“This means everyone, from commuters to weekend travellers, will now know how long it is going to take them to reach their destination, enabling them to plan their journey and ensure they avoid any delays.”
This is one of the CTOC initiatives to improve travel within the city by ensuring road users are better informed about road works, travel delays, detours and road closures.
The NZ Transport Agency’s Southern Regional Director Jim Harland says by monitoring travel times, CTOC will be able to better understand what is happening on the network and make changes to its operation to keep everyone moving.
For some months now, CTOC has been collecting basic journey time information on the route from the Christchurch International Airport to the Central City and from Hornby to the Central City, along Riccarton Road.
“This information is continually reviewed to look at whether the network is performing better or worse and what measures may need to be taken to improve traffic flows.”
Commissioner Rex Williams says Environment Canterbury welcomes the enhancement to Christchurch’s traveller information system as the SCIRT work programme enters top gear in 2014.
“The VMS signs will help motorists optimise their journeys and ensure they allow sufficient time to complete their trips on time. The signs will help with congestion on bus routes and help them to be faster and more reliable.”
City Council Environment Committee Chair Phil Clearwater says the project is a great example of the multi-agency approach to assist Christchurch residents during the rebuild.
“All agencies - CCC, the Transport Agency and ECan - are working closely together to provide better information about travelling though and around the city, helping our residents get on with their day-to-day lives and make smart travel choices.”
The Christchurch Transport Operations Centre (CTOC) is a partnership between the Christchurch City Council, NZ Transport Agency and Environment Canterbury to monitor and manage the roading network, both local roads and state highways to improve traffic flows, by reducing congestion and delays on all routes, but in particular key commuter, public transport and freight routes.