Aucklanders Are Driving More Than Ever


According to an article in the UK Guardian newspaper, efforts to get Aucklanders out of their cars have been failing. Aucklanders drove an average of 1.6bn kilometres a year more in 2017 than they did in 2013, and half of peak-time trips are under six kilometres.

New Zealand has the 4th highest per capita car ownership in the world, and Aucklanders own more cars per capita than ever before. The most recent New Zealand Health Survey reported that 83% of car journeys to work were by car.

Transport planning for the future is urgent – Statistics NZ predicts that Auckland’s population will rise from 1.7 million to 2.4 million by 2046. Also, the traffic congestion isn’t just about inconvenience and carbon emissions. A recent University of Auckland report has found that driving was associated with psychological distress, particularly anxiety, for the people taking the trip, and for the neighbourhood that people take a trip through.

Also, SUVs are marketed aggressively in NZ, but they perform poorly when involved in collisions with vulnerable road users (pedestrians and cyclists). Fortunately, there are efforts underway to get Aucklanders out of their cars, including peak hour congestion charging, the City Rail Link project, bike and walking infrastructure improvements, and ‘pop-up’ Tactical Urbanism.

For more information, see:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/16/auckland-transport-roads-cars-cycling-congestion-new-zealand