The intersection of the Copper Coast Highway and the Princes Highway, north of Port Wakefield, has been the site of significant delays on holiday weekends in previous years due to large traffic volumes. Traffic using the coastal route from the York Peninsula needs to make a right turn onto the Princes Highway at this intersection to return towards Adelaide. This movement has experienced long queues in the past when traffic volumes have been particularly high on holiday weekends.
During the recent Labor Day long weekend the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) trialled an alternative route for light vehicles. The alternative route passed through Lochiel, Balaklava and Mallala and was designed to reduce the load on the Cooper Coast Highway and Princes Highway intersection. Department sources suggest that initial indications are that the alternative route was successful in reducing traffic congestion.
HDS Australia was engaged to undertake surveys on the Labor Day public holiday to monitor the effects of the alternative route on turning movements and queue lengths at a number of locations in the area. Ten field staff were involved in the surveys, which was undertaken between 8am and 7pm and also included the use of video camera equipment. HDS Australia has undertaken similar traffic surveys on previous holiday weekends, when the alternative route trial was not in effect. These ‘before’ and ‘after’ surveys will be used as inputs to the detailed evaluation of the trial alternative route, and provide insight into whether this approach should be adopted to manage traffic volumes on future holiday weekends.