M1 Pacific Motorway heavy vehicle lane restrictions trial

Transport for NSW is carrying out a 12 month trial of heavy vehicle lane restrictions on the M1 Pacific Motorway in both directions between Wahroonga and Kariong from 1 November 2018.

View or download a map of the trial zone.

The trial is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to keeping traffic moving on one of the state’s busiest roads and aims to improve road safety, traffic flow and increase driver comfort.

More than 75,000 cars and 7,000 heavy vehicles travel between Sydney and the Central Coast every day. This section of the M1 Motorway was chosen as it carries a large volume of heavy vehicle traffic, coupled with multiple uphill and downhill sections and a high speed limit.

Results of similar trials in other states and overseas show when heavy vehicles are restricted from the far right lane on motorways, traffic flows more smoothly for all road users and there are fewer lane changes making the road safer for everyone.

Transport for NSW will monitor the safety and traffic impact during the 12-month trial.

An evaluation of the trial will be carried out to examine the road safety and network changes from implementing heavy vehicle lane restrictions.  

Feedback and enquiries

If you have feedback or questions about the trial, please use our online contact form.

Who will the lane restrictions apply to?

Heavy vehicles affected by the new rules include trucks and buses with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of more than 4.5 tonnes. Affected heavy vehicles will be restricted to travelling in the left two lanes on the M1 Motorway, both northbound and southbound, between Wahroonga and Kariong.

A truck means a motor vehicle with a GVM more than 4.5 tonnes, except a bus, tram or tractor. A bus means a motor vehicle built mainly to carry people which seats more than 12 people (including the driver).

Where will the lane restrictions apply?

The heavy vehicle lane restrictions will apply on the M1 Motorway:

  • Northbound from north of the Edgeworth David Drive overpass at Wahroonga to south of the M1 interchange at Kariong
  • Southbound from Old Pacific Highway overpass at Kariong to north of the Edgeworth David Drive overpass at Wahroonga.

Signs will be displayed to show where the lane restrictions apply.

The trial is an extension of existing heavy vehicle lane restrictions on the M1 northbound between Bar Point and Kariong and southbound between Kariong to Calga and Brooklyn to Cowan.

When will the trial start?

The trial of heavy vehicle lane restrictions between Wahroonga and Kariong will start on 1 November 2018.

Road signs are being installed to show trucks and buses must use the left two lanes.

Before the trial starts, motorists on the M1 Motorway will be informed via messages on the overhead electronic messaging signs on the M1 Motorway while updates will be provided on NSW Live Traffic.

Are there penalties for breaching the lane restrictions?

The heavy vehicle lane restrictions will be enforced under the NSW Road Rules.

Penalties for breach of the sign-posted restrictions are up to $337 for a Penalty Notice or $2,200 for a maximum court imposed penalty.

Are any heavy vehicles exempt from the heavy vehicle lane restrictions?

The heavy vehicle lane restrictions will apply to trucks and buses with a GVM of more than 4.5 tonnes. The restrictions do not apply when avoiding an obstruction or obeying a traffic control device applying to the right lane.

The drivers of these vehicle types are also exempt under the NSW Road Rules:

  • Police heavy vehicles while taking care and lights/sirens flashing (unless reasonable not to display lights/sirens)
  • Emergency heavy vehicles, such as ambulance, fire and air services
  • Tow trucks while displaying a flashing light and otherwise unable to comply with the heavy vehicle lane restrictions.


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