Traffic warning as UOW resumes

Congested traffic is expected around Gwynneville over the next few weeks with the start of semester one at the University of Wollongong.

Traffic around the campus is traditionally heavy at the beginning of autumn session when new and existing students return to campus.

The university has been working to reduce car traffic by encouraging students and staff to re-think their campus commute.

UOW senior manager transport projects Tom Hunt said commuters were being urged to leave their cars at home where possible or to take care and be patient if congestion and delays occurred.

"We expect the coming weeks to be a peak time for traffic in and around the campus and we have urged staff and students to avoid travelling by car, or to carpool," he said. "We have extended our car pooling promotion, by which drivers of cars arriving with three or more people can access free parking, with a trial of the system being expanded to staff using the multi-storey car park."

Mr Hunt said the new scheme brought the total free car pooling spaces available to nearly 400.

The UOW is also promoting the use of an online car pool matching system that can be linked to Facebook accounts or a university email address to connect commuters with others from the same area and travelling in the same timeslot.

"UOW has committed greatly to encourage staff and students to travel more sustainably, and we have been getting good results," Mr Hunt said. "We have seen a decrease in the number of UOW commuters travelling by car and an increase in those using public transport."

Eleven per cent of UOW's 16,000 daily commuters have switched from cars to public transport since 2007, according to uni surveys.

Mr Hunt said the university had set targets of 55 per cent for private transport, 30 per cent for public transport and 15 per cent for active transport (cycling and walking) by 2015. The university worked closely with the Roads and Maritime Services and Wollongong City Council to help to ease congestion.

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