Traffic congestion is causing many Aucklanders to look at moving house, changing jobs or even leaving the city altogether, according to a new survey of Auckland AA Members.
AA spokesman Barney Irvine says the survey results – which show that nearly half of those surveyed have seriously considered changing where they live or work to avoid congestion – highlight just how much anxiety is out there as Auckland’s infrastructure struggles to keep pace with growth.
“Auckland AA Members have seen congestion get steadily worse in recent years,” he says. “They’re worried that their quality of life is being eroded, and they don’t see anyone stepping up to address it.”
What is needed from local and central government is a focused and sustained campaign against Auckland’s congestion, Mr Irvine says.
“The first step should be to establish congestion targets that Aucklanders can see and understand. The second should be to set up a new taskforce – a kind of congestion ‘hit squad’ – to help achieve them. Brisbane has a Congestion Reduction Unit, and we think we need something similar here.”
At the same time, the AA wants to see much more investment in park and ride stations.
When it comes to dealing with congestion, Mr Irvine says it is important to be realistic about what can be achieved.
“We’re not calling for congestion to be eradicated – frankly, that’s impossible,” he says. “What we want to see is that transport decision-makers are doing everything reasonable to keep congestion at bay and minimise its impacts.”