The Melbourne traffic landscape has changed significantly as a result of COVID-19 and the various restrictions implemented to reduce the spread of the virus.
At the Australian Road Research Board, the National Transport Performance Centre (NTPC) has been monitoring the effect of these changes on road, pedestrian, public transport and cycling traffic across the country.
The video below is a visualisation of road traffic volumes in Melbourne by Local Government Area to show the spatial nature of the traffic changes.
Some interesting observations:
- Traffic levels dropped quickly in the week beginning 23 March 2020 when stage 2 restrictions were announce
- The City of Melbourne and other inner suburbs had a lower level of traffic than the rest of Melbourne after restrictions were introduced
- Lowest levels were recorded over the Easter weekend and generally climbed through to the end of June
- Average Melbourne area traffic returned to 86% of early February levels on the 17 June 2020
- Traffic levels start falling again from the 27 June 2020 which is the start of school holidays and accelerates from 1 July when suburb lockdown was announce
- The reduction at the end of June is led by Local Government areas in Melbourne’s north west where most of the (1 July) lockdown suburbs are located
- Previous work by ARRB showed that heavy vehicle volumes have remained almost unchained due to COVID-19 restrictions so the changes seen here are likely to be from cars only
To learn more about the NTPC at ARRB, click here: ntpc.arrb.com.au