Waterview tunnel a truckie goldmine
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.’’
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.