Tun­nel cuts travel times

Central Leader - - WHAT’S ON - HAN­NAH MARTIN

Af­ter years of con­struc­tion and months of de­lays, the Water­view Tun­nel has been open now for just shy of a fort­night.

But has it made any dif­fer­ence? New Zealand Trans­port Agency’s high­way man­ager Brett Glid­don thinks so. The tun­nel was opened just be­fore 1am on July 2. Since its first Mon­day, there have been around 63,000 ve­hi­cles through the tun­nel each day. In the first few days, NZTA re­leased fig­ures which showed dras­tic cuts to the com­mute times for long suf­fer­ing Auck­land driv­ers. There was a 20-minute sav­ing for those us­ing the tun­nel to travel from the CBD to the air­port at 8am on the first Mon­day.

Glid­don said while it’s early days yet, there ap­pears to have been a re­dis­tri­bu­tion of traf­fic de­mand from SH1 to SH20 and SH16 - mean­ing good news for com­muters on those routes. While NZTA was still col­lect­ing data, anec­do­tal ev­i­dence has shown re­duced travel times on com­muters travel to and from the air­port. One of NZTA’s key aims was to pro­vide a more ef­fi­cient link be­tween the port and air­port, to re­duce the cost of do­ing busi­ness. Freight busi­nesses have re­ported they’re sav­ing on av­er­age 40 min­utes a trip from the wharf to the air­port.

‘‘These travel time sav­ings are great news not only for com­muters but also for busi­ness pro­duc­tiv­ity, it means cost sav­ings for hun­dreds of busi­nesses,’’ Glid­don said.

‘‘These travel time sav­ings are great news not only for com­muters but also for busi­ness pro­duc­tiv­ity’’


We’re al­most two weeks in - has the Water­view Tun­nel lived up to the hype?

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