Launceston deploys $6.8m smart traffic system

Launceston deploys $6.8m smart traffic system

Tasmania’s ‘second city’ will roll out a new $6.8 million smart traffic monitoring and signalling system, to be funded as part of the Federal and State Government Launceston City Deal initiative.

The new system, which live streams traffic in real-time, monitors traffic flow and synchronises traffic signals to meet changing road use demands across the day.

It is hoped the new synchronisation system will go some way to reducing the impact of traffic flowing in from West Tamar and into Launceston, a major corridor of the region and a main thoroughfare for tourists arriving from the mainland.

Tasmanian Minister for State Growth Michael Ferguson said the system will reduce the instance of cars “waiting at red lights for no reason” and facilitate “traffic moving through intersections in accord with demands”.

“The Launceston Smart Traffic project will transform how we plan and deliver transport infrastructure and ensure we can effectively manage current demands and the future growth of the city,” Ferguson added.

The project will also serve as an important source of traffic data, with data collected from the system expected to guide future infrastructure planning and, it is hoped, encouraging the use of alternative modes of transport, said Bridget Archer, Federal member for the Division of Bass, based around the city of Launceston.

“Generating more accurate data will inform greener land-use planning and infrastructure investment, supporting more people to get about Launceston by walking, cycling and catching public transport,” Archer said.

“Inspiring people to use and connect with the ‘internet of things’ will not only make Launceston an even better place to live but encourage more entrepreneurs and start-ups to set up here in Tasmania, benefitting the economy.“

Funded as part of the joint Federal and Tasmanian Government program, the Launceston City Deal, a ten-year plan to improve liveability and innovation within Tasmania’s second-largest city.

Launceston is among nine Australian cities and metropolitan areas signed up to the City Deals scheme, a joint initiative between the federal, state and local governments to revitalise urban areas and stimulate urban renewal.

The $6.8 million smart traffic signal system is jointly funded program, with the Federal Government committing $2.9 million, while Tasmania’s state government, Launceston City Council, the University of Tasmania, and Enterprize Tasmania provide the remainder. West Tamar Council and Meander Valley Council provided non-financial support.