A web-based tool that could cut Auckland commute times is to get new impetus now that the Auckland Council has agreed to consider getting involved after nearly seven months of stalling.

The Automobile Association's aamaps website includes traffic information updated in real time using feedback from couriers and taxis contracted to the AA mapping company GeoSmart.

Research shows that when 10 per cent of drivers use real-time traffic information to avoid jams, journey times drop 5 per cent for everyone.

The AA has struggled to get the council's Auckland Transport to commit information after already getting NZ Transport Authority (NZTA) buy-in.


The site allows commuters to check traffic flow before making trips - a free service for desktop use, says AA spokesman Simon Lambourne.

He says it makes sense for NZTA and Auckland Transport to pool information and use the site as a first stop for commuters, rather than spending ratepayer money to duplicate a free service that already exists. The AA has agreement from the NZTA to add information from its motorway sensors.

Auckland Transport, which controls arterial information, showed no interest in the AA proposal since the a March attempt to meet managers. But after five weeks of Herald on Sunday calls, Auckland Transport management has agreed to meet the AA and NZTA to discuss working together.

Lambourne says: "We'd like to see a relationship with Auckland Transport on this issue as productive as our relationship with NZTA, and that this meeting will translate into better information for drivers.

"It's ridiculous for Auckland Transport to spend money on real-time traffic information when there is an alternative that provides Auckland Transport with considerable cost savings.

"Ratepayers' money would have been better spent on Auckland's public transport and local roading projects."