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Traffic data shows only modest COVID impact

Traffic data counter
Traffic counters across the region have indicated a traffic movement drop of 10-15 per cent during the COVID-19 lockdown when compared with the same period last year.

Traffic data from the Bundaberg Region shows only a modest drop in vehicle movements during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Information from Department of Main Roads and Transport (TMR) traffic counters across the region show average weekday drops of between 10-15 per cent during the 2020 March/April data collection period.

Traffic counters are widespread across the region and assisted the department in compiling statistical information on traffic volumes and the types of vehicles using the state’s road networks.

A traffic counter on Takalvan Street near the intersection with Walker Street recorded average weekday traffic volumes of 18,604 vehicles over a 24-hour period during March/April 2019. During a similar period this year, traffic numbers fell by almost 3000 daily to average 15,743 vehicles on weekdays.

This represented a drop of just over 15 per cent.

A similar percentage drop equating to 3330 vehicles per day was recorded in the area around Sugarland, with last year’s 24-hour weekday averages showing 22,759 vehicle movements compared to 19,459 in March/April this year.

However, a counter on Bundaberg/Bargara Road (near Princes Street and East End Hotel) recorded average weekday traffic volumes of 18,024 during 2019, dropping by 1867 vehicles or around 10 per cent during the March/April lockdown period.

Data collected near Coleman Street (Barolin and Walker Streets intersection) registered average weekday traffic movements of 13,325 in March/April 2019 falling by 1424 vehicles or about 11 per cent to 11,901 during the same period this year.

Traffic volumes from East Bundaberg remained relatively stable during March and April with 16,457 average weekday movements near Kendals Flat.

This traffic data represented a drop of 1463 vehicle movements per weekday on last year’s average daily figure of 17,920.

Highway traffic recorded similar falls in vehicle movements with counters at Childers and Gin Gin registering drops of about 10 per cent.

Police suspect that less traffic on the region’s roads may have contributed to some motorists speeding.

Officer in charge of Childers Police, Sergeant Geoff Fay, said while there had been a slight decrease in the number of offences recorded on district roads he had observed that increased levels of speed were a noticeable factor in some infringements.

“It seems that fewer vehicles on the road may have contributed to some motorists opting to speed,” he said.

Sergeant Fay said he was not surprised that traffic numbers around Childers had remained fairly static.

“People are still travelling to work and plenty of people are still coming into town for their shopping or general business needs,” he said.

Sergeant Fay said general policing had been reasonably quiet during the lockdown period.

Note: Figures quoted represent average weekday (Monday to Friday) bi-directional traffic movements recorded over a 24-hour period.

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