Traffic congestion increasing overall Canberra travel times by 20 per cent: report
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Traffic congestion increasing overall Canberra travel times by 20 per cent: report

Canberra traffic congestion is increasing everyday travel times by 20 per cent and costing businesses more than $43 million a year, new data shows.

Despite the capital's reputation for peak hour lasting just a few minutes, a new traffic congestion index shows Canberra's overall time lost on the road increased by 3 per cent in 2016.

Traffic in Canberra is increasing overall travel times by 20 per cent.

Traffic in Canberra is increasing overall travel times by 20 per cent.Credit:Melissa Adams

The cost of congestion through lost time and productivity is estimated at $43.78 million every year, while the average driver is spending an extra 21 minutes per day on the road.

Spread across 230 working days, the figure represents 80 hours extra on the roads each year.

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Traffic congestion is pushing up time spent on the road by an average of 21 minutes per day

Traffic congestion is pushing up time spent on the road by an average of 21 minutes per dayCredit:Melissa Adams

The TomTom Index Report says Canberra's 29,920 commercial vehicle drivers each lose about $7.62 per day due to congestion, up 6 per cent on 2015 figures.

Wednesday mornings were the worst time to commute to work in Canberra, with travel times increasing by 38 per cent. Friday mornings had the least congestion, ahead of Mondays.

Tuesday to Thursday evenings were the worst times for the evening peak, with 32 per cent increases in total travel time.

Friday evenings had the least congestion, ahead of the Monday drive home.

The worst road for congestion was Horse Park Drive and Majura Road, near the Goorooyaroo Nature Reserve.

Canberra's 2016 delay hotspots, according to TomTom

Northbourne Avenue and Vernon Circle was the second worst spot for congestion, ahead of the intersection at Northbourne and Antill and Mouat Streets, the Barton Highway and Drakeford Drive and Isabella Drive.

The single most congested day in the report was September 21, 2016.

At 39 per cent, Sydney topped the list of most congested cities, ahead of Melbourne, Hobart and Brisbane.

At 19 per cent, Wollongong came in 10th behind Canberra.

TomTom Telematics ANZ strategic sales manager Christopher Chisman-Duffy said the 3 per cent increase showed congestion in Canberra had grown by the greatest amount in the past year.

"Canberra continues to rank as the ninth most congested city in Australia," he said.

"Since 2008, congestion has increased by 6 per cent, with the biggest increase taking place this year."

"This is bad news for businesses. Not only is it costing them financially in lost hours but it can also impact on service level agreements and the customer experience, as well as the health and safety of their drivers.

Mr Chisman-Duffy said businesses needed to find ways to reduce the impact of congestion and improve fleet efficiency.

"Businesses need to take a more connected approach to managing their commercial vehicles to improve efficiency, productivity and service levels, as congestion continues to increase across the country," Mr Chisman-Duffy.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 29,816 light commercial vehicles and 104 light rigid trucks were registered in Canberra in 2016.

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Tom McIlroy is a political reporter for the Financial Review in the federal press gallery at Parliament House.

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