Parking should be banned on major Auckland arterial roads at all times of the day, says an advocate for the trucking industry.
National Road Carriers chief executive David Aitken says road congestion is hurting the efficiency of delivery trucks, with some now 50 per cent less productive than they were five years ago.
"Auckland Transport needs to make greater efforts to encourage the use of public transport with better park-and-ride facilities for bus and rail users and allow more priority vehicles into bus lanes or create lanes to be shared by trucks and buses," Aitken says.
"The Northern Busway alongside the Northern Motorway is the most under-utilised piece of road in Auckland, even during rush hour."
Aitken says it's not difficult to create extra lanes of traffic on existing roads.
"All the major arterial roads should have no parking 24/7. Get rid of the parked cars - just one parked car can make a lane unusable and create a bottleneck - and you create another lane of traffic to flow along. Clearways should also ban parking 24/7."
Some of the roads he includes are Dominion Rd, Great South Rd, Onewa Rd, Ti Rakau Dr, Puhinui Rd, Saleyards Rd, Remuera Rd, and St Johns Rd.
Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett disagrees with the proposition, saying it would hurt businesses. "The biggest problem would be the accessibility to small businesses like retail and restaurants which rely on quick turnaround clients."
Barnett says a parking cutback could result in a similar situation to the Island Bay cycleway where some small shop owners say they have seen a downturn in customers after parking spaces became limited near their stores.
"The costs would be shocking."
Chappies Dairy in Island Bay was forced to close in March after 27 years in business. The owners cited the removal of four parking spaces to make the cycleway as the reason for the downturn in customers. The Wellington City Council is now working on a solution to the cycleway and will increase parking spaces outside shops.
The Dominion Rd Business Association manager Gary Holmes the suggestion of a parking ban in the area showed an ignorance of the reality of small business in Auckland.
"Retail shopping strips such as Dominion Rd, Remuera Rd and others rely on parking for their lifeblood and any suggestion that parking be removed to make way for large dirty, polluting and smelly trucks is absurd," Holmes said.