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Drivers on New Zealand's big city motorway networks struggle to hit 20kmh on an average commute. And it's not all just Auckland - Porirua commuters in Wellington rank third in the frustration stakes, with an hour-long ride on a typical morning. In contrast, Christchurch commuters zoom along at well, a still-leisurely, 34kmh.

New Zealands slowest commute

Stuff braved the country's commuting crawl and found the three worst motorway morning drives all average less than 20kmh, with the slowest stretch - on Auckland's North Shore - crawling along at 8kmh for more than half an hour.
See the maps showing their journeys synced to start at the same time, with timer showing duration of journey in minutes
The experiment showed the slowest drive was from West Auckland to the CBD at 17kmh, followed closely by North Shore to Auckland CBD (19.2) and Porirua to Wellington (19.8). The third Auckland route, from Manukau filled the fourth spot.

Monthly averages

One journey is only a snapshot, so they looked at NZ Transport Agency data on each of these routes for the past five years. The data gives average travel times and average speeds at peak times (7am-9am and 4pm-6pm) for the month of November.

This data backed up their main finding - that Auckland is a commuting nightmare - with morning traffic slowest on the three main Auckland routes, the worst was from North Shore, with an average speed 24kmh in 2015.
Looking just at November allows for a year-on-year comparison. However, congestion varies from month to month. For example, levels are generally better in December and January and are at their worst in March.

It's only getting worse

Now for the really bad news - average speeds on these routes at peak time is slowing down year-on-year. In some cases average speeds have dropped by almost 18kmh since 2011.
The average speed from West Gate to Auckland CBD between 7am and 9am in November 2011 was 49.9kmh, in 2015 the average was 32.5kmh. Manukau to Auckland commuters have also seen a 10kmh decrease in average speeds in the month of November, while the journey from the North Shore has remained about the same.

Source: Stuff.co.nz

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