NZ's most congested roads identified

RISKY BUSINESS: Between $3.50-$5 of each $100 you pay in car insurance is to cover you against uninsured drivers.
RISKY BUSINESS: Between $3.50-$5 of each $100 you pay in car insurance is to cover you against uninsured drivers.

Stretches of Auckland's motorways are the three most congested roadways in the country but highways in Wellington and Christchurch also figure prominently in the list of New Zealand's most clogged roads.

The SUNA Traffic Channel made an analysis of major metropolitan roads using speed and vehicle data from thousands of vehicles carrying GPS systems earlier this year and found five of the 10 most congested spots were in Auckland.

A stretch of Auckland's Southern Motorway around the Ellerslie Panmure Highway exit was the country's most congested, followed by the Northwestern Motorway between Great North Road and Rosebank Road with Auckland's Northern Motorway between Tristram Ave and Upper Harbour Highway rounding out the worst three.

Wellington's Johnsonville to Porirua Motorway from Takapu Road to Westchester Drive was fourth most congested, with Christchurch's Southern Motorway between Wrights Road and State Highway 75 fifth.

Other Wellington roads in the top ten for congestion were the Western Hutt Road (sixth), the Wellington Urban Motorway (seventh) and the Centennial Highway between Johnsonville and Newlands roads (tenth).

The other roads in the top 10 were Auckland's Southwestern Motorway between Rimu Road and Onehunga Harbour Road (eighth) and a stretch of Auckland's Pakuranga Highway/South-Eastern Highway (ninth).

SUNA Traffic Channel chief executive Adam Game said the company hoped the analysis would allow drivers to better prepare for journeys.  

''The core issue is the size of the city, so as cities become larger it becomes more challenging and ultimately impossible to avoid road congestion,'' he said.  

Game said he was not surprised Auckland had five of the most congested roads because of the rapid rate of urban sprawl and the number of cars in the city.  

One way to manage congestion was by having more motorists know what route they should take by using GPS technology.

''Cities cannot afford to keep building new roads nor do they have the space,'' he said. 

''Increasingly cities are looking towards technology.''

Auckland Now