If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know there are a couple of topics that are particularly dear to our hearts. First and foremost is recycling. And, then there’s … Auckland traffic.

Traffic congestion in the City of Sails has been an issue for ages. And, lately, due to wider Southern Corridor Improvements, getting our trucks through the Takanini area is particularly tedious. Consequently, we’re moving about one fewer loads than usual from our Manukau recycling plant to Hampton Downs Transfer Station.


When will it end?

It’s no secret that traffic congestion is a huge drain on the Auckland economy — about $2 billion every year. And, to add insult to injury, the average Aucklander spends around 20 working days a year stuck in their car. What fun!

What’s Auckland City Council doing? Well, in addition to current road works, it’s focussed on getting people out of their cars, which has got to be a good thing, right?. According to Mayor Phil Goff, the emphasis is on, amongst other things, better rail and bus systems, walkways and cycleways and car sharing.

Of course, we all know there is no ‘silver bullet.’ The complex problem of getting Aucklanders from A to B faster and more efficiently won’t be solved overnight.

So, in the meantime, here are our top tips for avoiding frustrating Auckland traffic jams:


Plan ahead

If at all possible, avoid peak times. For travelling to the CBD, they are 6.30 am to 8.30 am, and for leaving, peak times are 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm. Also, avoid routes that are obstructed by accidents, construction, bad weather or events. To find out which routes NOT to take, check out NZ Transport Agency’s useful online tool.


Mind your driving

The weather’s fine. There are no pile-ups that you can see. Why is traffic so slow? Well, according to a professor of computer science, there is a thing called a phantom traffic jam. It happens when one vehicle slows down in heavy traffic and causes a domino effect. To avoid phantom traffic jams, the professor says don’t tail gate (observe the three-second rule) or change lanes too often. Also, be a considerate Kiwi, and let other cars merge into your lane.


Ditch your car 

Do you really need to drive to work? Depending on what you do for a job, maybe you don’t. For example, taking a bus can be stress free and cheap. What about carpooling? Instead of each member of your household heading to work in their own vehicle, can you ride together? Hey, if you team up, you can travel in the transit lanes.


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