Massive traffic volume increase on Skipton, Gillies Street

Packed: A section of Gillies Street North (pictured intersecting Sturt Street), has experienced major traffic growth over the past three years. Picture: Lachlan Bence
Packed: A section of Gillies Street North (pictured intersecting Sturt Street), has experienced major traffic growth over the past three years. Picture: Lachlan Bence

Gillies and Skipton streets are two of Ballarat’s fastest growing main thoroughfares, data from VicRoads shows.

Traffic volume figures from last year along Ballarat’s main arterial stretches shows a section of Gillies Street North between Sturt Street and Howitt Street experienced an increase of more than 8000 vehicles per day between 2014-16.

More than 26,000 vehicles now travel along it daily, as opposed to the average of 17,600 in 2014.

However, traffic on Gillies between Howitt Street and the Western Highway has decreased over the past three years, with an average of 9,600 vehicles using it daily, down from the previous figure of 10,000.

Skipton Street, which is set for a major $2.47 million upgrade to improve safety, also experienced a dramatic jump in traffic over the past three years.

In 2014 around 20,500 vehicles were recorded to use it each day, with the figure jumping to 26,000 last year.

The stretch has been the site of more than 25 accidents in several years, with the February upgrade betweeen Rubicon and Urquhart streets set to deliver a solid median strip to provide drivers with safer right turning and u-turn areas.

New traffic lights will also be installed at Sebastopol Street to make it safer and easier for drivers to make u-turns and right turns, as well as signalised pedestrian crossings and improved access to the crossing of Yarrowee River on Hill Street.  

Meanwhile, Sturt and Mair streets have both experienced moderate increases in traffic over the past four years.

More than 14,000 vehicles pass Mair Street between Dawson and Lydiard streets each day, up from 13,000 in 2012, while the stretch of Mair between Lydiard and Princes streets experienced a 500 vehicle growth in the same period.

Sturt Street has experienced a growth of more than 3000 vehicles per day, rising from 17,900 in 2014 to 21,000 in 2016.

Major arterial roads to Ballarat’s west are also facilitating more and more traffic as developments boom in Lucas, Cardigan, Alfredton and Sebastopol. 

Learmonth Road has experienced an 800-vehicle daily increase from 17,200 to 18,000, while traffic volume on Ballarat-Carngham Road is up 1200 vehicles since 2014.