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AA calls for more action on Auckland traffic congestion as commuters at 'breaking point'

The Automobile Association is calling for more action to reduce traffic congestion in Auckland, following a survey that found the problem is now a bigger issue for some than housing affordability.

The AA investigation reveals that the excessively long commutes are a bigger issue to some than housing. Source: 1 NEWS

The AA surveyed 1300 of its Auckland members and nearly three-quarters considered congestion a high or very high priority for the city's incoming mayor, well above housing affordability.

Almost half of those surveyed said they've considered moving house or changing jobs just to avoid the gridlock.

"This really highlights the anxiety that's out there in the public around the pace of Auckland's growth and the fact that infrastructure is struggling to keep up with it," said Barney Irvine of the AA.

"Congestion is driving many Aucklanders to breaking point and they really want to see more done about it."

The AA says a "focused and sustained campaign against Auckland's congestion" is needed from local and central government.

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. 

The taskforce would be responsible for monitoring and reporting on progress towards congestion targets, and planning and implementing smaller-scale congestion-busting projects. Incident response would be a key priority.

Mr Irvine says for 85 per cent of the AA's Auckland members, the car is the main way of getting to work.

While many say they would like to take public transport, they say it's not a viable option.

The AA also wants to see much more investment in park and ride stations.

"No other step could do more to break down barriers to public transport use," Mr Irvine says. 

Auckland Transport acknowledges the concerns and hopes newly-added services will make a difference.

"So improving our services on rail, as we did on Monday on the Western Line, but also improving our bus network will absolutely improve the offering for people and hopefully provide more choices so people can actually think about using public transport a lot more," said Mark Lambert, AT general manager.