Table of Contents

7.2.1 Lane Use Management Systems

Background

A lane use management system (LUMS) is used to control the movement of vehicles both in, and to and from, a lane. Functions can include lane opening/closure, capability to create a merge zone in advance of lane closures, and the special use of symbols such as bus, transit or truck lane symbols, and can incorporate dynamic control of speed zones. The system may be integrated with other road management systems such as ramp metering, variable message signs, variable speed limit signs and traveller information (e.g. diversions) to provide for overall corridor management. It also facilitates the implementation of incident management plans.

Lane use management is an essential part of reversible lane systems, shoulder lane use schemes and tunnel control systems as described in succeeding sections.

Lane use management is also increasingly being used on Australian and New Zealand freeways and motorways. Lane use management utilises lane control signals to control the movement of vehicles both in, and to and from, a lane. Functions can include lane opening/closure, capability to create a merge zone in advance of lane closures, the special use of symbols such as bus, transit or truck lane symbols. For further guidance on the application of lane use management on motorways refer to the Guide to Smart Motorways (Austroads 2016b).

Typically, LUMS directly includes the following components:

  • lane control signs (LCS)
  • LUMS control system.

The following items are not directly part of a LUMS but support its function:

  • data stations
  • variable message signs
  • variable speed limit signs
  • incident detection
  • communications
  • freeway gantries
  • CCTV coverage.

LUMS lane displays

Lane control displays are described in Part 10 of the Guide to Traffic Management (Austroads 2019d). It covers the following:

  • lane open and speed limit
  • merge left, right or both
  • lane closed
  • exit lanes
  • designated turning lane.

LUMS should be able to provide the following capabilities either proactively or in response to the following traffic management scenarios:

Table 7.1: LUMS capabilities for traffic management scenarios

Traffic management scenarioLUMS capabilities
Normal operations – low demandCapability to create emergency stopping lane (not currently planned for use)
Normal operations – high demand

Manage merge areas by creating add-lane

Maximise (prioritise) available road space

Provide additional capacity by permitting shoulder-lane use

Incident management

Protect (make safe) incident area

Provide quick access for emergency vehicles

Maximise (prioritise) remaining available road space

Manage merge areas by creating add-lane

Planned roadworks/events

Protect (make safe) works/event area

Provide quick access for emergency vehicles

Maximise (prioritise) remaining available road space

Manage merge areas by creating add-lane

Contra-flow operationsManage lane use on approach to contra-flow area