Auckland Council approves next stage of congestion charge

Auckland drivers are one step closer to having to pay to use the roads.

Council has approved the next stage of designing a congestion charge for road users to combat the city's peak-hour traffic, which is growing rapidly. 

A report titled The Congestion Question, presented to the council planning committee on Tuesday, says an average motorway trip takes 10 percent longer than it did four years ago.

It says severe congestion is expected to increase by 30 percent at peak hours, and 38 percent between rush hour times.  

Mayor Phil Goff says Auckland's traffic is an issue that needs to be addressed.

"In the last four years, we have increased travel on our roads in Auckland by 1.6 billion kilometres," he says.

"We've added 800 cars a week to the road. That's where the problem lies."

Details on how a congestion charge might work and how much it could cost will be revealed in August.

The concept was first investigated by the Government 14 years ago, and it could still be years until one is up and running.