Aucklanders keen to quit city over traffic woes - AA

  • 10/05/2016

Getting stuck in traffic gridlocks is making Aucklanders so frustrated some are considering quitting the city altogether.

A survey of almost 1300 Automobile Association members in the city has found almost half of those surveyed have seriously considered changing where they live or work to avoid congestion.

This follows a crash blocking two lanes on Auckland’s Southern Motorway last night.

Congestion remained heavy after a digger on the back of a trailer hit the Penrose overbridge around 1:15pm.

Spokesperson Barney Irvine says the AA survey results highlight the anxiety Auckland faces as its infrastructure struggles to keep pace with growth.

He said it was no surprise those surveyed considered congestion the top priority for the next mayor - above housing affordability.

"They're worried that their quality of life is being eroded, and they don't see anyone stepping up to address it."

A focused and sustained campaign against congestion was needed by both local and central government, such as a taskforce with targets Aucklanders could see and understand, he said.

More investment was also needed in park and ride stations.

"No other step could do more to break down barriers to public transport use.

"It's about making the system meet people's needs - particularly the 80-85 percent who drive - not trying to make people change to meet the needs of the system."

He said while it was impossible to eradicate congestion, transport decision makers needed to do everything reasonable to minimise its impact.

Mayoral candidate David Hay says the Penrose overbridge should be rebuilt urgently. The bridge has been hit six times in the past 18 months.

"There are really two options for fixing this problem. One is to replace the Penrose overbridge, to make it consistent with other bridges on the motorway system.

"The other is to replace the existing overheight warning system with something more effective, such as traffic lights."

He says it would be better to stop one lane for a few minutes than have the motorway blocked for hours every time an overheight load hits the bridge.

"I favour rebuilding the bridge, to make its load height consistent with the other bridges on the Auckland motorway system. If that doesn't happen, we can expect to see this incident repeated again and again."

NZN / Newshub.