The NZ Transport Agency says traffic has been flowing well through the Waterview Connection and surrounding motorways for the second weekday, with Aucklanders reporting reduced travel times on their usual routes.
Data shows there was a 20 minute time saving for those using the Waterview Tunnel to travel from the CBD to the airport at 8am yesterday compared with using Manukau Road and Gillies Avenue, last Monday morning. This dropped from a 42 minute average travel time to 22 minutes.
Journeys in the other direction, from the airport to the city, via the tunnel were 13 minutes faster during the same time period. Travel times dropped from an average of 37 minutes to 24 minutes.
The additional route has also taken some pressure off the Manukau Road and Gillies Ave route, resulting in journeys that are on average 4 minutes shorter along this corridor.
“The travel time figures are backing up what people are telling us, that their journeys to and from the airport are more efficient when they use the Waterview Connection, and that the tunnel is also providing an additional route which is easing congestion on local roads,” says the NZ Transport Agency’s Brett Gliddon.
Travel time figures show the average travel time on St Lukes/Balmoral Road and Greenlane was 4 minutes faster yesterday during the busy 8am period compared with last Monday.
There have also been time savings ranging from 3 to 4 minutes on other routes including Great North Road, Carrington Road and Mt Albert Roads.
Travel times are also faster on the Northwestern Motorway into the city during the morning, with time savings of up to 20 minutes, and a six minute saving on the Southern Motorway between Papakura and the city during the morning peak.
Freight businesses have also been reporting that they’re saving on average 40 minutes on a round trip from the wharf to the airport.
“These travel time savings are great news not only for commuters but also for business productivity, because these improved travel times mean cost savings for hundreds of businesses,” says Brett Gliddon.
“One of the Waterview Connection’s key aims has been to provide a more efficient link between the port and airport to support growth and reduce the cost of doing business.”
While these first few days have gone very smoothly the NZ Transport Agency says traffic volumes have been slightly lower across the motorway network which is probably because of University holidays and some schools starting their holidays this week.
“Opening such a large piece of transport infrastructure means travel patterns will change. Auckland’s growing population means traffic will still be heavy in some areas at peak times. We will continue to work with Auckland Transport to monitor and manage traffic flows across the transport system.”
“Heavy traffic and queues are still likely in the coming weeks, while people find their way and work out the best route for them. We encourage everyone to plan their journeys.”