It takes state-of-the-art technology and an expert team to monitor and manage the NSW road network 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The RTA's Traffic Commanders and Traffic Emergency Patrols (TEPs) provide on-the-spot support for motorists by managing traffic around road incidents such as accidents and breakdowns.
There are 10 Traffic commanders patrolling Sydney roads, who take control of the traffic management arrangements around incidents to keep motorists safe and get traffic moving.
They are assisted by eight fully equipped road-based TEP crews who help maintain traffic flow by setting up traffic controls and assist in clearing incidents and repairing roads.
We also have dedicated field resources to respond to and manage incidents in regional areas of NSW.
Our dedicated team of towing staff work to clear breakdowns and incidents in key locations such as Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Harbour Tunnel and ANZAC Bridge.
Traffic follows a predictable pattern at different times of the day on Sydney's key roads. The RTA's Tidal Flow Traffic Systems increase the number of available lanes during peak times to maximise traffic flow.
Generally, manual Tidal Flow Traffic Systems are used but there are also five automated systems in Sydney located at:
Tidal Flow Systems were first used on the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the late 1940s and fully automated systems were introduced in 1985. With more than 175,000 vehicles crossing the bridge every day, the Tidal Flow Traffic System is a critical part of its traffic management.
The RTA's Transport Management Centre (TMC) has a network of over 1,200 Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras monitoring traffic throughout Sydney and in key locations across NSW, linked via a computerised video control system.
The primary role of CCTV is to help the TMC manage incidents and traffic flow and to detect incidents on particularly high volume sections of the road network including:
Variable Message Signs (VMS) are placed at over 580 strategic locations across the NSW road network and Variable Speed Limit Signs (VSLS) are situated on major arterial roads including the M4 Motorway, M5 Motorway, F3 Freeway and General Holmes Drive.
Together with real-time communications tools, they help reduce delays, keep traffic flowing smoothly and improve driver safety, allowing the RTA to vary speed limits based on traffic volumes, unfavourable road or weather conditions and incidents.
VMS also inform motorists of delays, changes in traffic conditions and, when not required to manage traffic, provide information on the RTA's road safety awareness program.
Detour routes are denoted by the use of 'D' and 'D1' signs and have been developed to be activated when an incident occurs that closes one or both road directions or causes extensive delays to motorists. Detour signage offers a route that bypasses the cause of the delays and can be seen on the F3 Freeway and M5 Motorway.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is used by almost 59 million vehicles each year making it one of the busiest roads in NSW.
The RTA uses a number of traffic management techniques to manage the traffic flow including the Electronic Lane Changing System (ELCS). The ELCS controls eight lanes of traffic and is managed remotely via the RTA's Transport Management Centre and by dedicated Sydney Harbour Bridge traffic controllers.
The ELCS integrates electronic overhead signage, automatic movable medians and in-pavement lighting to adjust traffic direction, on average, five times a day in four different configurations. Learn more.