- M80 Ring Road, Melbourne
Western Ring Road
Metropolitan Ring Road
Formerly _ Length 38 km (24 mi) Direction Southwest–Northeast From Princes Freeway /
West Gate Freeway, Laverton North, Melbourne
Major suburbs Sunshine West, Ardeer, Cairnlea, St. Albans, Keilor East, Keilor Park, Tullamarine, Airport West, Gowanbrae, Campbellfield, Thomastown, Bundoora To Greensborough Highway, Greensborough, Melbourne Established 1990 Allocation Princes / West Gate Freeway – Western Freeway: Major junctions Western Freeway
for full list see exits and interchanges.
The M80 Ring Road, more formally known as the Western Ring Road or Metropolitan Ring Road, is a freeway in Melbourne, Australia connecting the northern suburbs and the western suburbs to various freeways:
- the Hume Freeway;
- the Calder Freeway
- the Western Freeway and;
- the West Gate Freeway and Princes Freeway.
It is linked to the eastern suburbs by the shorter Metropolitan Ring Road; the two are collectively called 'the Ring Road', and are generally considered together on traffic reports. It is signed M80 for its entire length, and is officially a National Highway between the Western Freeway and the Hume Freeway (signified by a National shield for this portion).
The road relieves freight traffic from Sydney Road, Pascoe Vale Road and Geelong Road and funnels them to the freeways. With connections to every major interstate and regional freeways, it has encouraged both industrial and residential growth in Melbourne's western suburbs.
Over the past few years there have been discussions about extending the Metropolitan Ring Road from Greensborough Road and tunnelling it under Greensborough and going through the Banyule Flats and connecting to the Eastern Freeway at Bulleen. A study has been initiated by VicRoads to supplement the Western Ring Road with an Outer Metropolitan Ring Road.
The Ring Road project was proposed as part of the 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan (F3 & F5 Freeway corridor) and has documented in almost every edition of the Melway Street Directory since that time. Construction of the Western Ring Road began in 1989 with work on the Broadmeadows section, and was completed with the final link between the Calder and Tullamarine Freeways. Under the Keating Commonwealth government, a total $555 million was provided by the Federal Government for the Western Ring Road, with a $76 million contribution from the Victorian Government; and this allowed the opening to occur in 1999.
The project is generally divided into 3 sections:
- Western Ring Road: This is the section between the West Gate Freeway and the Hume Freeway. It is signed M80 for its entire length, and is officially a National Highway between the Western Freeway and the Hume Freeway (signified by a National shield for this portion).
- Northern Ring Road: This section is currently named Metropolitan Ring Road although many people do not know that is its current official title. It is located between the Hume Freeway and the Greensborough Highway.
- Eastern Ring Road: This 39 km section, officially named EastLink and opened to the public on 29 June 2008, connects the Eastern Freeway to the Frankston Freeway. Originally planned to be free from tolls and partially funded by the Federal Government, the Victorian Government under Steve Bracks broke its election promise and pushed for the road to be tolled.
Proposed widening of the Western and Metropolitan Ring Roads is to be carried out between 2009 and 2014, to be funded by the Federal Government Auslink 2 program.
Currently, the easternmost point of the Northern Ring Road terminates at Greensborough at the Greensborough Bypass. There are no announced plans to extend the road further to the Eastern Ring Road (Eastern Freeway or Eastlink) or to any other roads in the South East of Melbourne. As a result, it is unclear when or even if the Metropolitan Ring Road will ever be totally complete.
While the route for this missing section is unclear, it would take the road through areas that are environmentally and politically sensitive, such as Viewbank, Banyule Flats, Eltham, Templestowe or Warrandyte. The link to the east may well have to be provided by other means, such as the proposed tunnel to connect the Eastern Freeway with Melbourne's west.
Another possible route for the freeway has been suggested that would result in existing transmission line corridors being utilized . The official reservation for the extension ends at Ryans Road in Eltham North, but these transmission line corridors could be used to carry the freeway through to Eastlink in Ringwood. Environmental impacts would still be a problem including noise, pollution, possible destruction of vegetation and the interruption of wildlife crossings. Less opposition from local politicians and the public would be likely if the much more expensive option of tunneling is chosen (if the extension does actually proceed).
If completed it will provide a circumferential route around Melbourne starting from Altona and ending in Frankston. The resulting beltway will be similar to the size and scope of Sydney's Orbital Motorway.
On 7 July 2008 it was announced by Premier John Brumby that the completion of the Missing Section was again being considered by the Victorian State Government as part of a wider plan to deal with Melbourne's traffic problems . A new freeway through some of the city's most environmentally sensitive areas is among a series of proposals considered in the plan. The idea has for many years stirred intense debate both at the political level and among the community. The history of the proposal is extensive and renewed public interest to the issue is likely to result from this revelation by the premier. Options or possible routes for the freeway are complex. The project, if it does happen, is likely to face heavy scrutiny from the public and the local councils: both explain that the only option is the extension of the public transport infrastructure, not the construction of more freeways.
Much controversy surrounds the Metropolitan Ring Road project in Melbourne in many different topics including; environmental, economical, social, private & public transportation and both positive and negative aspects are well represented for each topic by many people and groups small and large. This has led to heavy debate in all areas of society in Melbourne from political and media to general public views and conversations.
The road serves various uses:
- integrating the metropolitan area by linking middle and outer suburbs
- assisting circumferential travel through the middle suburbs as opportunities for cross town movement are limited
- linking the growing populations in the south-east and west suburbs to jobs and economic opportunities throughout the metropolitan area
- providing access to Melbourne Airport, the ports of Melbourne and Geelong, and rail freight terminals, from all parts of Melbourne and from across the State
- provide good access to the whole of the Melbourne metropolitan area to and from country Victoria and interstate.
The Western Ring Road is 28 km long, and the Metropolitan Ring Road is 10 km long, for a total length of 38 km. The freeway changes its name at the Hume Freeway (Craigieburn Bypass). The freeway had previously changed its name at Sydney Road, but that point shifted with the opening of the Bypass, extending the Western Ring Road by 2 km.
The road is divided, carries between two and four lanes of traffic in either direction, and has a non-peak speed limit of 100 km/h for almost its entire length; between Greensborough Bypass and Plenty Road, the speed limit drops to 90 km/h and the road is undivided (although there are still two lanes in either direction). The Western Ring Road between the Western Highway and the Tullamarine Freeway is configured with variable speed limits, which can vary between 60 km/h and 100 km/h depending upon traffic conditions.
The off-peak travel time for the Ring Road is 25 minutes: 19 minutes on the Western Ring Road and 6 minutes on the Metropolitan Ring Road. Peak-hour travel times typically vary between 30–40 minutes, unless there are accidents which can stretch travel times beyond an hour. The road is generally at its heaviest at the Western Highway, Pascoe Vale Road and Edgars Road in the Greensborough direction; in the Altona direction, Dalton Road and Pascoe Vale Road are the slowest points.
Exits and Interchanges
Western / Metropolitan Ring Road Northbound exits Distance to
Southbound exits Traffic Lights (clockwise from freeway)
Greensborough Highway to Diamond Creek (7km) and Kinglake (36km)
Greensborough Highway to Greensborough (3km) and Heidelberg (7km)
End Metropolitan Ring Road 3 34 Start Metropolitan Ring Road Whittlesea, Bundoora
5 32 Bundoora, Whittlesea
8 29 Reservoir, Epping
EPPING RAIL LINE 9 28 EPPING RAIL LINE Thomastown, To via Epping
10 27 To via Campbellfield, Thomastown
Northbound exits Distance to
Southbound exits End Western Ring Road
continues as Metropolitan Ring Road
855 25 Seymour, Sydney
End Metropolitan Ring Road
continues as Western Ring Road
857 23 Coburg, Craigieburn
UPFIELD RAIL LINE UPFIELD RAIL LINE NORTH EAST RAIL LINE 859 21 NORTH EAST RAIL LINE Broadmeadows, Glenroy
Pascoe Vale Road
no exit Sunbury
862 18 Melbourne, Sunbury
Tullamarine, Airport West
Northbound exits Distance to
Southbound exits Tullamarine, Airport West
864 725 Airport West, Tullamarine
866 723 Bendigo
To via Bendigo; Keilor Park, Avondale Heights
Keilor Park Drive
868 721 Keilor Park, Avondale Heights
Keilor Park Drive
Taylors Lakes, Sunshine
872 717 Sunshine, Taylors Lakes
St Albans, Sunshine
874 715 Sunshine, St Albans
BENDIGO RAIL LINE 875 714 BENDIGO RAIL LINE Deer Park, Sunshine
876 713 Sunshine, Deer Park
WESTERN RAIL LINE 877 712 WESTERN RAIL LINE Northbound exits Distance to
Southbound exits End
711 18 Ballarat, Adelaide
Mobil SERVICE CENTRE 712 17 Mobil SERVICE CENTRE Truganina, To via Footscray
713 16 To via Footscray, Truganina
Start Western Ring Road
continues from West Gate Freeway
714 15 Geelong
End Western Ring Road
continues as West Gate Freeway
2009 - 2012 Upgrade
In late 2009, construction began to upgrade and widen 38km of the M80 from Princes Freeway at Laverton North to the Greensborough Highway at Greensborough.
The first stage involves widening the 9.7km stretch from Calder Freeway to Sydney Road to 6-8 lanes.
Road infrastructure in Melbourne Tollways Freeways HighwaysBallarat Road • Bell Street • Bulleen Road • Burwood Highway • Chandler Highway • Dandenong Road • Dandenong Valley Highway • Eastern Highway • Flemington Road • Geelong Road • Greensborough Highway • Hoddle Highway • Maroondah Highway • Melton Highway • Moorooduc Highway • Mountain Highway • Nepean Highway • Plenty Valley Highway • Springvale Road • St Kilda Road • Sydney Road • Warrigal Road • Westall Road • Western Port Highway • Whitehorse Road Bypasses Bridges and tunnels Under constructionPeninsula Link • Dingley Arterial Proposals Streets in Melbourne • Highways in Melbourne • VicRoads • Transport in Melbourne
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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