We had to leave Campbells Bay, where we were staying with friends, at 7.45 on Friday morning to ensure we’d be in the city in time for the graduation procession muster at 9am.
Driving in Auckland rush hour traffic was a culture shock for us.
We live 20 kilometres from town. There are four give way signs en route and 99% of the time the only one where we’re required to stop is when we get to the intersection with State Highway 1.
There were five of us in the car on Friday so we were able to use the transit lane and looked in amazement as we passed cars without passengers crawling in the congestion.
But once we got the road leading to the bridge there was no transit lane and we had to crawl too.
My farmer reckoned he could solve the congestion by putting up the price of fuel. That has been tried and wasn’t very popular.
The former Aucklanders in the car explained that part of the problem is the woeful state of public transport. All had waited for buses which arrived late, passed without stopping because they were full or didn’t come at all.
The stick of congestion charge,s either by increasing the cost of fuel or parking, won’t work unless there’s a carrot of efficient, convenient and reliable public transport.
An alternative would be for some of the people to move elsewhere – just as long as they don’t do it in sufficient numbers to clog South Island roads too.