Traffic congestion is costing Auckland up to $2 billion in lost productivity according to the latest report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood.
“This is a disaster and underlines the need for fast, efficient public transport. The Government has done nothing to ease the congestion on Auckland’s roads and this is now holding back our growth and prosperity.
"The report shows a journey from Papakura to the CBD now stretching out to 67 minutes when it was only 46 minutes in 2013. That’s seven extra days per year stuck in a car for southern commuters!
“A quarter of the arterial network is now congested. In 2014 it was 18 per cent. This makes Auckland the 47th most congested city in the world.
“It’s now estimated that unclogging Auckland’s roads would add up to 1.3 per cent to the city’s GDP.
“In response, the Government continues to ram through the $2 billion East-West link (with no business case), ignoring the evidence that a $65 million investment in the third main rail line would make the biggest difference to freight.
“Why hasn’t the Government learnt the lesson of the Northern Busway that was built by the last Labour Government – that if you give people modern, efficient public transport many will leave their cars at home, unclogging the roads, clearing our air, and moving people and freight around our city more freely.
“Labour has a plan, which it will announce soon, to get Auckland moving and free up the roads. We will need a shift in investment to modern high-quality public transport, which will make Aucklanders’ journeys across the city quicker,” says Michael Wood.