30 Nov 2017

Travel on Wellington roads getting slower

12:50 pm on 30 November 2017

Driving around the Wellington region takes longer than a few years ago, despite a new expressway and a goal to speed up traffic.

The newly-opened Kapiti Expressway.

The Kapiti Expressway was opened earlier this year. Photo: Supplied / NZTA

A report to Greater Wellington Regional Council's transport committee revealed short-term travel speeds were decreasing.

It measured morning and evening rush hour travel on six strategic routes in March and showed the council's aim of speeding up traffic by 10 percent was not being achieved.

"Initial findings indicate that the traffic congestion on these routes is not improving," the report said.

Traffic from Waikanae to Wellington Airport slowed by more than 4 km/h this year compared to 2014, despite the opening of the 18km Kapiti Expressway from Mackays Crossing to Peka Peka.

That finding will be of little surprise to motorists who have complained of choke points on the route causing delays

The Karori to Bowen Street leg has changed the most, with an average speed during morning rush hour of 31 km/h in 2014 falling to 19 km/h this year.

New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) regional transport systems manager Mark Owen said a range of factors can affect travel times including accidents and weather.

But he said NZTA was working hard to improve the roading network out of Wellington.

"Once all the separate parts of this corridor are completed, road-users will enjoy the full benefits of more reliable travel times and reduced congestion in and out of Wellington."

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