The West

New push to clear freeway tunnel
The Incident Response Service vehicle will patrol the Graham Farmer Freeway to remove cars blocking traffic. Picture: Clarissa Phillips/The West Australian

The State Government has unveiled its latest weapon in the fight with traffic congestion - a new vehicle that will literally push obstructing vehicles out of the way.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell said the new Incident Response Service vehicle would operate in a similar way to those used elsewhere in Australia.

The first vehicle will start operations tomorrow and will patrol the Graham Farmer Freeway between Loftus Street and the Swan River, responding to incidents that affect traffic flows from Monday to Friday between 6am and 6pm.

"This service will help clear vehicles involved in crashes or breakdowns in the tunnel and relocate them to a safe area," Mr Buswell said.

"The idea is to make sure traffic flows can be returned to normal as quickly as possible to reduce congestion during peak times.

"The critical message is that motorists and passengers must stay in their cars for their own safety, and telephone 13 ROAD (13 7623) for help.

"Travel times should be made more reliable for all road users as this service will minimise disruption caused by breakdowns or crashes in the tunnel."

The front of the IRS vehicle has a soft foam 'push pad', which shapes itself to the design of the affected car before moving it to a safe location away from traffic.

Road users who have their vehicles relocated will be advised by the IRS operator what to do to successfully move their car.

The IRS is part of 'Active Traffic Management' identified in the Perth Central Business District (CBD) Transport Plan.

It is a State Government initiative to improve congestion management on Perth city roads and the freeways. Active Traffic Management will allow Main Roads to play a more active role in keeping traffic in the tunnel moving as efficiently as possible.

The West Australian

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