CANNING Highway is in gridlock during the morning peak period after changes to merge lines on all freeway on-ramps.
Main Roads WA said the “improved layout” had resulted in significant travel speed improvements for Kwinana Freeway, but that is of little comfort to Melville commuters facing up to 25 more minutes stuck in traffic banked up between Cunningham Street and Canning Bridge.
Attadale resident Joy Foyle said her morning commute to East Perth had become a nightmare and she was using noticeably more petrol since the change two weeks ago.
“It used to take me between 30 and 35 minutes to travel along Canning Highway and on to the freeway and then through the tunnel onto East Parade,” she said.
“I would leave as late as possible, around 8.45am. Now, if I don’t leave by 8.20am I won’t get there on time for work at 9.30am.”
“It’s nearly doubled my travelling time, I can see my petrol going down faster and I’m worried that the value of my house is going to drop because of the longer city commute. It’s thoroughly depressing when I get up in the morning and think about it.”
A spokeswoman for Main Roads WA said the new merge lines had been introduced at all on-ramp locations on the Kwinana and Mitchell freeways to enable more effective merging and improve traffic flow.
“Under the improved layout, the Canning Highway on-ramp has been changed from a double merge to a single merge to reduce congestion on the Kwinana Freeway,” she said.
“The Canning Highway on-ramp line markings have been modified to form a single 200m additional lane before traffic must change lanes to merge with freeway traffic.
“The merge line configuration on Canning Highway is a new treatment and therefore we anticipate that it will take time for the new changes to settle in and road users to adjust.”
She said Main Roads WA was aware of the impact on Canning Highway and was monitoring the situation.
“Our future plans for ‘Smart Freeways’ for Kwinana Freeway, which looks at opening the emergency stopping lane on the freeway for traffic (known as all lane running), will see an additional fourth lane commencing at the Canning Highway on-ramp, removing the need to merge at this point,” she said.