Water­view tun­nel a truckie gold­mine

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JACK­SON THOMAS

Truck­ies are re­port­ing a dra­matic in­crease in daily pro­duc­tiv­ity thanks to Auck­land’s new­est piece of road­ing in­fra­struc­ture.

Since open­ing on July 2 the Water­view tun­nel, which con­nects the North­west­ern and South­west­ern mo­tor­ways, has been praised by mo­torists for slashing com­mut­ing times par­tic­u­larly be­tween Auck­land In­ter­na­tional Air­port and the CBD.

But it’s not just com­muters sing­ing the tun­nel’s praises.

The Road Trans­port Fo­rum’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Ken Shirley said the tun­nel had ‘‘a mas­sive im­pact’’ on the pro­duc­tiv­ity of Auck­land’s freight in­dus­try.

‘‘What used to take an hour to travel from the CBD to Man­gere, truck­ies can now do in 30 min­utes,’’ Shirley said.

‘‘One op­er­a­tor I spoke to was pre­vi­ously mak­ing five trips be­tween the ports and Man­gere ev­ery day. He now does seven. A 40 per cent in­crease in pro­duc­tiv­ity.’’

For that freight op­er­a­tor, the tun­nel meant about an ex­tra 700 trips per year were pos­si­ble.

On av­er­age, a truck costs about $150 an hour to run, Shirley said. That is about $1200 per day.

With travel times be­tween the CBD and Man­gere halved, op­er­a­tors had a cost sav­ing of about $75 per truck, per hour or $600 a day.

Shirley said that aside from the busi­ness im­prove­ments, the driv­ers them­selves were hap­pier.

‘‘We have a chronic short­age of driv­ers in Auck­land, mainly be­cause no­body wants to sit in traf­fic all day,’’ he said.

‘‘Although we can’t put a num­ber on it, driver sat­is­fac­tion is way up since the tun­nel opened which will hope­fully lead to an in­crease in in­dus­try work­ers.’’

One of NZTA’s key aims for the long-awaited project was to pro-

How­ever, it was too early to com­ment on the im­pact it had on its de­liv­ery ser­vice, the spokesper­son said.

‘‘This is also par­tic­u­larly the case cur­rently as we’re now in the school hol­i­days which is tra­di­tion­ally a qui­eter time on the roads.’’

CAL­LUM MCGILLIVRAY/STUFF

With travel times be­tween the CBD and Man­gere halved, op­er­a­tors have a cost sav­ing of about $75 per truck, per hour or $600 a day.

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