Pick a lane, Govt warns on M1 changes

Changes to M1 freeway in Melbourne mean truckies will have to "pick a lane and stick to it"

Drivers have been screaming it for decades, silenced by the safety of their cars, but now pollies are officiating the expression: Pick a lane!

Roads and Port Minister Tim Pallas says future traffic conditions on Melbourne’s West Gate Freeway warrant the call, with new safety measures to be introduced coinciding with the opening of the $1.39 billion upgrade of the M1 corridor.

He announced the changes today with "about one kilometre of concrete barrier [to] be installed on the freeway outbound towards Geelong between Bolte Bridge and Todd Road" from next week.

"This will change the way we drive on Melbourne’s freeways as motorists will need to get into the correct lane in advance of their intended exit," he says.

The barrier will separate traffic so that drivers heading to either Todd Road or the Bolte or West Gate Bridges will need to decide early which lane they need to travel in.

"The $1.39 billion upgrade will make driving the M1 easier and safer to travel, with this being the first of the changes drivers will need to get used to," Pallas says.

"Signage will alert motorists to make a choice before they get to the barriers and get into the appropriate lane for their destination so the message to drivers is to be aware of the new conditions, look up and ahead for new signs before picking a lane and sticking to it."

M1 Upgrade Project Director John Cunningham says changed traffic conditions will affect drivers using the Todd Road exit-ramp (including Shell Service Centre customers), those travelling from the Bolte Bridge towards the West Gate Bridge and for those moving outbound on the West Gate Freeway heading to the Bolte Bridge.

"Drivers are advised to pay particular attention to the new signs to ensure that they make the correct decision regarding their route", Cunningham says.

A map of the traffic changes on the West Gate freeway and further information is available on the project website or by calling the project hotline on 1300 881 137.

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