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Commuters waste 80 hours stuck in traffic

Tens of thousands more people and cars travelled on Auckland's roads last year, with the average commuter wasting nearly 80 hours stuck in traffic.

Photo: 123RF

The relentless growth in travel on the city's roads showed no sign of slowing, the AA's Auckland Congestion report said.

Based on Google travel-time data, it said 43,000 more people were on the roads last year, with 40,000 more cars, taking the total to 950,000 vehicles.

The average peak-hour motorway user lost 78.6 hours to congestion.

The average peak-hour speed was 43 kilometres per hour but speeds were as slow as 13 kilometres an hour.

But the AA said the new Waterview Connection helped ease congestion after a sharp rise in morning peak travel time the previous four years.

Travel-time savings in the morning peak thanks to Waterview ranged from three minutes to 11 minutes.

"The Waterview Connection has had a massive impact since opening in July last year. By providing a second complete north-south motorway, trips have been spread across the network, traffic has been drawn off local roads, and travel times have eased," the report said.

The coming year would be an important one for deciding the shape of the Auckland transport programme with attention focussed on the "big-ticket congestion-busting projects" like highways, light rails, and busways that cost billions of dollars and take years to deliver.

It had five smaller scale initiatives it wants Auckland Council and the government to move on this year.

They include congestion targets, smart traffic lights, a mini congestion charging trial, more park and rides, and making walking and cycling to school safer.


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