Northern Star Weekly
11 July 2017
Motorists travelling from Melbourne’s north-east have the worst commute in Melbourne, according to new research from the Grattan Institute.
Transport program director Marion Terrill’s research found travel times from the north eastern suburbs to the city can take twice as long during the morning peak than it would in the middle of the night. Similarly, evening peak travel times are up to 75 per cent longer.
In comparison, travel times from the western suburbs take about 60 per cent longer during peak times.
“The worst place to commute to Melbourne’s CBD is not from the rapidly growing suburbs, but from the north eastern suburbs,” she said.
The research is based on an analysis of Google map data, collected 25 times a day over 12 weeks between March and June this year.
The institute’s research backed Whittlesea council data which shows Whittlesea residents have longer commutes than their inner city counterparts. It also follows a warning from Infrastructure Victoria in December last year, that the drive from Epping to Melbourne’s CBD is predicted to take one hour and 45 minutes by 2046 unless congestion is addressed.
The independent advisory body said the commute currently takes about 60 minutes, but within 30 years clogged roads will put Epping residents in traffic for an extra 45 minutes.
Mernda resident Anna Graham leaves home at 6.40 each morning to drive into work. The journey takes close to a hour.
“Plenty Road, even at that time of the morning, is banked up,” she said.
“Driving from Mernda to Bundoora can take hours on a bad day because of the sheer number of people trying to get on the ring road at Plenty Road,” she said.
Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said the government is working to reduce congestion for the thousands of drivers who travel in Melbourne’s north each day.
He said that funding had been committed in the past two state budgets to upgrade Yan Yean and Plenty roads, and the 2016-17 budget also allocated funding for a feasibility study into extending the No. 86 tram to the Plenty Valley town centre.