Business says congestion getting worse

Congestion in Sydney is getting worse and it’s costing many businesses up to $10,000 each year, according to a survey

May 18, 2010

Congestion in Sydney is getting worse and it’s costing many businesses up to $10,000 each year, according to a survey of NRMA Businesswise members.

The survey of 382 Sydney members found that 82 percent believe congestion has worsened over the past 12 months, two percentage points higher than NRMA’s last BusinessWise congestion survey in 2007.

The survey found 42 percent of businesses have incurred additional costs as high as $10,000 as a result of congestion, of which 25 percent had losses up to $5,000.

More than one-third (35 percent) of businesses surveyed have changed the way their business runs as a result of congestion, with 60 percent changing shift times for staff to start late and finish earlier. Almost 10 percent have moved the company outside the CBD.

The Businesswise congestion survey also found:

  • 75 percent said their journey to work is now longer than 12 months ago
  • 67 percent of businesses said fuel consumption had increased due to congestion
  • 39 percent experienced a slowdown in productivity
  • 29 percent experienced a decrease in staff punctuality
  • 10 percent could not take on more work because of congestion.

"From the F6 to the F3 and everywhere between there are countless examples of congestion causing massive delays and the State’s engine room – small businesses – are wearing the cost," NRMA President Wendy Machin says.

Machin says 75 percent of businesses surveyed say roads will affect their vote in the next state election.

"The challenge is on for both the Government and Opposition to deliver solutions to help unclog Sydney’s streets," she says.

"Our BusinessWise members have made it clear that traffic congestion isn’t just an inconvenience, it is a major cost that is having a dramatic affect on business productivity."

While large road projects are desperately needed in NSW the NRMA has also proposed a number of simple measures that could alleviate congestion, such as early warning signs for motorists and fixing merging lanes on motorways.

The survey found very few businesses (14 percent) believe the NSW Government’s Transport Plan will improve congestion, with almost 80 percent opposed to plans to increase vehicle registration costs to pay for Sydney’s public transport.

"Few people believe the Government’s current plan to tackle congestion will work so both parties can go a long way to securing victory by showing they have real solutions to one of the State’s biggest problems," Machin says.

NRMA BusinessWise provides roadside assistance and support including fuel advice and discounts to more than 21,000 small to medium businesses in NSW and the ACT.

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