The Smarter Roads program is undertaking the biggest review of Melbourne’s traffic lights since they were first introduced nearly 100 years ago.
Our expanded team of signal engineers are optimising traffic lights across Melbourne’s arterial roads to improve their efficiency and coordination and to share the green time more fairly between road users.
With Melbourne’s population predicted to surpass Sydney’s
by 2032, we’re working to get maximum efficiency out of
roads that are already built, to help cope with this growth.
Our signal engineers consider feedback from colleagues in the Department, councils, and public transport operators. They also analyse traffic volumes during peak and off-peak times and look at how roads are used by all transport modes including cars, freight, public transport, cyclists, and pedestrians when conducting reviews.
They are completing these reviews more efficiently than ever thanks to the installation of hundreds of new cameras and sensors by Smarter Roads, providing unprecedented visibility of what’s happening on the arterial road network.
Historically, traffic signal sites have been reviewed every
10 years. With the aid of more traffic monitoring cameras
and extra resources, Smarter Roads is completing the
program at more than double the pace, reducing each site
review to, on average, every four to five years.
By recalibrating signals and improving synchronisation between intersections along busy corridors we can help reduce stop/start trips and give road users a clearer run through multiple sets of lights.
In built-up areas near schools and shops, where there is more foot traffic, we’ll give pedestrians and public transport more green time where possible.
Learn how we review and optimise our traffic lights
Benefits for road users
The results for each location vary depending on how well an intersection is already operating, and where there is room for improvement.
Tangible ways the program has already improved the user experience include:
Better travel times -Motorists travelling south along Clyde Road, from Mansfield Street to O’Shea Road in Berwick, are now saving an average of about 4 mins 30 seconds (43.6%) during the afternoon peak – and this is while traffic volume has increased by 4.8 per cent.
Reduced queues - During the morning peak, around 240 more vehicles are now getting through on the right-turn phase from Wellington Road into Brandon Park Drive in Mulgrave.
Crossing quicker - We’ve allocated more priority to pedestrians during off-peak periods, particularly close to schools, shops and public transport. For example, the average pedestrian wait-times on High Street, between Winbirra Parade and Huntingdale Road Ashburton, has reduced by between 13 and 24 seconds at six pedestrian crossings.
By mid-2027, we will have reviewed and optimised the traffic lights at more than 3,200 intersections and crossings along 271 corridors (covering 128 different arterial roads) within 28 local government areas.
During the first part of the program, we reviewed traffic lights along sections of every arterial road in the three Smarter Roads zones - in the west, east and south east of Melbourne.
Between February 2021 and June 2023, we reviewed and optimised signals along:
85 corridors, which included 969 intersections and standalone crossings
Major arterial roads and highways that have been reviewed and optimised include:
High Street/High Street Road, Ashwood/Ashburton
Springvale Road, Mulgrave to Vermont South
Stephensons Road, Burwood to Clayton
Princes Highway (seven sections from Oakleigh East to Beaconsfield)
Waverley Road, Chadstone to Glen Waverley
Nepean Highway, Hampton East to Carrum
Frankston-Dandenong Road, Dandenong to Carrum Downs
Duncans Road, Werribee
Derrimut Road, Tarneit to Werribee
Dohertys Road, Laverton North to Tarneit
See the locations map to discover which roads have been optimised in your region.
From June 2023 to June 2027, the program is continuing across four more zones in the northern regions of Melbourne.