Fresh approach needed to ease Auckland’s congestion


National Road Carriers wants to see more new thinking to gain some “quick wins” in the battle against Auckland’s traffic congestion.


CEO David Aitken says there are some “positive long-term solutions” for Auckland’s traffic and transport problems planned but main arterial freight routes throughout Auckland should be “decongested now” for the benefit of all road users.

“We want to see some quick wins for everybody but it will need some new ideas.”

The Benefits of Decongestion Report released two months ago showed congestion on Auckland’s roads was costing the economy between $1.2 and $2 billion a year in lost productivity.

Major infrastructure projects like the East West link between Sylvia Park and Onehunga were still required, Aitken says, as well as improvements in public transport and park and ride facilities to get single occupant vehicles off the roads.

“Using existing roads better is the key to a quick fix and a solution for all road users,” he believes.

“Everybody wins.”

The organisation’s focus is on main arterial roads between industrial and commercial areas throughout the city and those roads which service the waterfront port, the inland ports, including the Te Papapa Metroport and container parks.

Aitken has already raised the prospect of no parking on these routes and trucks having access to bus lanes.

He says dedicated freight lanes on key routes could also be part of the mix.

“Now, there are only freight and T2 lanes on several of the motorway on ramps.

“And at times they get jammed up with single-occupant vehicles.”

Spurious suggestion

Aitken says there had been suggestions trucks want better access along Dominion Rd.

“That’s not correct – it’s not a major freight route.”

The main arterial routes in need of decongestion include Great South Rd, Onewa Road, Ti Rakau Drive, Puhinui Rd, Saleyards Road, Church St Te Papapa, the eastern end of Remuera Road to Greenlane Rd East and St Johns Rd.

“Road freight transport is the life blood of the city,” Aitken maintains.

“Every factory, distribution centre, building site, supermarket and shopping mall relies on trucks to deliver what they need.”

Decongesting roads does work, even when traffic volumes increase.

Recently Nielsen St in Onehunga had no parking and clearway zones extended and the bridge at the Onehunga end was removed.

Traffic is now flowing 15 per cent faster over the 2.2 kms, despite the traffic volume increasing 8.5 per cent between August 216 and March 2017.

“Freeing up traffic flow doesn’t just benefit our members, but all traffic using the same road.”

National Road Carriers is the largest nationwide organisation representing companies involved in the road transport industry.

It has 1700 members, who collectively operate 15,000 trucks throughout New Zealand.