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New Waterview Tunnel proving a time saver for Auckland motorists, says NZTA

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) say the first few days of the Waterview Tunnel being open have gone very smoothly, with reduced traffic times across many routes for commuters and freight businesses.

Aucklanders are reporting reduced travel times on their normal routes since the Waterview Tunnel opened on Sunday, the NZTA says.

Data showed that those using the Waterview Tunnel to travel from Auckland CBD to the airport on Monday morning got there 20 minutes faster than motorists using the Manukau and Gillies Road route to the airport last Monday morning.

NZ Transport Agency also reported time savings of three to four minutes on Great North Road, Carrington Road and Mt Albert Roads.  

Travel time figures from Monday morning also show the average travel time around St Lukes/Balmoral Road and Greenlane was four minutes faster during peak time at 8am compared to last week.

"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.

Freight businesses have also reported they are saving 40 minutes on average 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 Mr Gliddon.

Mr Gliddon says one of the key aims of the Waterview Tunnel was to provide a more effecient link from the port and airport and support growth, while reducing the cost of doing business.

The NZ Transport Agency warns however that heavy traffic and queues are likely in the coming weeks while motorists find their way and work out the best route for them, so recommend people plan their journeys. 

There were concerns traffic would grind to a halt under the wheels of weekday motorists. Source: 1 NEWS