ONEHUNGA TRAFFIC IMPROVEMENTS PRAISED

National Road Carriers (NRC) chief executive David Aitken has praised the traffic improvements being delivered through Onehunga by the East West Link project, noting members have welcomed the Neilson Street Bridge demolition and lower replacement road.

“These changes have improved the sight lines for freight drivers and given them extra space for safe turning,” he says.

“The connection between Neilson Street and Onehunga Wharf Road is now working much more efficiently with our members currently noticing better traffic flows.

“The NRC is committed to keeping New Zealand moving and this new lowered road is making it easier for freight and other heavy vehicles to travel through this important freight hub.”

It is understood drivers of heavy vehicles are also appreciative that they are no longer required to stop for the light changes on the steep gradient that was a feature of the over bridge.

Recently commenced by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), the $1.25 billion to $1.85 billion East West Link project will ultimately provide a four-lane road connecting State Highway 20 at Onehunga to State Highway 1 at Mount Wellington.

“This will make it far more efficient and reliable for freight to move through this important industrial and manufacturing area.

“It’s great to see both the NZTA and Auckland Transport aren’t waiting until construction on the wider project gets underway and is getting on with creating early gains and improvements in the area.”

TREGURTHA DEFENDS BOOKING SYSTEMS

Pinnacle Corporation and MetroBox Specialised managing director Grant Tregurtha has spoken in defence of the booking systems introduced by Auckland container storage depots, stating recent congestion issues would have been even worse without their contribution.

His comments follow National Road Carriers (NRC) port committee chairperson Chris Carr’s recent criticism that the systems have imposed both costs and “logistical juggling” on transport operators while not delivering such promised benefits as reduced turnaround times.

“Turnaround times have reduced in Auckland, albeit not to the levels that we had anticipated,” counters Mr Tregurtha.

“A 24% increase in empty volumes last year through the Auckland container parks created congestion within all operational aspects of the depots, especially with gate co-ordination.

“Without the gate booking system the gate waiting times would have manifested into significant permanent delays that would have been measured in hours rather than minutes, so we see the booking system as a valuable tool in assisting the successful processing of volume at the gate.”

Mr Tregurtha says the booking systems provide key “visibility”.

“Pre system we were totally reactive to the request which was first notified to us when the truck arrived at the gate.”

He adds that the problematic issues at play need to be tackled on a collaborative basis.

“I firmly believe the difficulties the industry is facing will only be solved if we all recognise that it is an industry issue and work collectively and not as a direct result of failings with individual components of the process.”