10 Feb 2018

Auckland's traffic snarl-ups: congestion charges on the way

11:56 am on 10 February 2018

Traffic congestion in Auckland city is increasing sharply and officials are pressing ahead with work on congestion charges.

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Photo: 123RF

Auckland's arterial network in 2017 was 33 percent more congested than it was in 2014, a joint report from several government agencies and Auckland Council found.

The average motorway trip takes 10 percent longer than it did in 2014, and motorists need to allow 40 to 55 percent more time for journeys to be sure of arriving on time.

The area prone to traffic snarl-ups has spread from the CBD to throughout Auckland's urban area.

Congestion is also increasing at weekends and at non-peak times on weekdays.

The report is to be considered by an Auckland council committee on Tuesday concludes congestion pricing can change things and proposes further work on exactly how it would be implemented.

Though still to go to the committee it has been approved by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Transport Minister Phil Twyford.

The report says the most likely form of toll would be using technology that recognises car number plates, a system that already applies to the motorway just north of Auckland city.

It also analyses emerging Global Navigation System by Satellite technology, and says that would be necessary if it was decided to charge every car using the network.

The report recommends pressing ahead with working out which pricing system to use, and a communications strategy to involve the public in its design.

That work is expected to be completed by August.