Congested roads in Tauranga are no longer a short-term, peak hour issue, but an expected occurrence at almost any time of the day.
Hewletts Road, Totara Street, 15th Avenue, Turret Road and Cameron Road are the most congested roads in Tauranga.
Our city has grown incredibly quickly and with the increase in population, port and industrial development, comes pressure on the roads.
Increased import/export trade is causing the port to rely more on rail which, in turn, is affecting traffic through Totara Street and Hewletts Road where the rail line runs through. At times, the cars are backed up almost to the Harbour Link Bridge, causing major delays.
It is becoming more and more evident that our roads are no longer equipped to deal with the increased traffic. All major roads connecting to the suburbs are becoming choked.
Tauranga residents are heavily car-reliant, which stems from the lack of public transport options. The convenience of hopping into your own vehicle and going where ever you need is a luxury of the past.
As things stand now, we are adding to the congestion problems. If we had a public transport system that made getting around Tauranga City easy and efficient, more of us would use it and would leave our cars at home.
Our local government needs to consider doing more to improve the current situation and look at the allocation of funds towards traffic solutions. But central government has a role too.
New Zealand First is committed to helping our region with the traffic issues and is facilitating a transport blueprint for the future of the city. A combined effort from both local and central government should be the most effective approach in addressing our traffic issues.