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National Road Carriers is calling for more decongestion measures for Auckland’s main arterial routes

Think outside the box 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.

WEB EXCLUSIVE

CEO David Aitken says there are some positive long-term solutions for Auckland’s traffic and transport problems planned, but we need to see main arterial freight routes throughout Auckland decongested now for the benefit of all road users.
National Road Carriers CEO, David Aitken: “Using existing roads better is the key to a quick fix and a solution for all road users”

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

A report commissioned by the EMA, Auckland International Airport, Infrastructure NZ, Ports of Auckland and National Road Carriers, ‘Benefits from Auckland road decongestion’, 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 are still required, says Mr Aitken, 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. Everybody wins,” he says.

Main arterial routes

National Road Carriers’ 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 Metroport at Te Papapa, and container parks.

Mr 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.”

Mr Aitken says there have been suggestions that trucks want better access along Dominion Road. “That’s not correct. It’s not a major freight route,” he notes.

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

Freeing up traffic flow

Mr Aitken says road freight transport is the “life blood of the city” and that “every factory, distribution centre, building site, supermarket and shopping mall relies on trucks to deliver what they need.”

Decongesting roads does work, he adds, even when traffic volumes increase. Recently Nielsen Street in Onehunga had no parking and clearway zones extended and the bridge at the Onehunga end was removed. Traffic is now flowing 15% faster over the 2.2 km, despite the traffic volume increasing 8.5% between August 2016 and March 2017.

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

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.


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