Sydney Congestion Getting Worse: NRMA Photo:

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Mike Stevens | May, 17 2011 | 0 Comments

Congestion on Sydney's highways has worsened over the past 12 months, causing a dramatic impact on business operating costs, a new survey by the NRMA has found.

Surveying nearly 1100 fleet-running businesses in Sydney, a new NRMA BusinessWise survey shows that 26 percent of respondents saw operating costs increase by around $5000 in the past year.

"Sydney businesses cannot continue to operate under these conditions. More and more businesses are being forced to work around congested city streets in order to keep their businesses running," NRMA Motoring & Services President Wendy Machin said.

"The results of our survey shows that congestion issues in Sydney have worsened in the past year. In order to keep Sydney moving, we need the new Government to come up with a plan to tackle congestion and implement solutions that will alleviate congestion across metropolitan Sydney."

The survey also found that 78 percent of respondents believe it takes them longer to get to work today than it did 12 months ago - an increase of three percent compared to last year's BusinessWise survey.

Almost half (48 percent) of the businesses surveyed said they had changed the start and end of shift times to give workers a clearer run to and from work.

Other results showed that 62 percent of businesses believe the condition of the state's roads have worsened in the past year, and 82 percent want a government focus on reducing the cost of motoring.

Around 70 percent of businesses remain opposed to a London-style congestion charge designed to discourage driving during peak times.

The survey follows the release last week of the NRMA's 10-step strategy for reducing congestion in Sydney.

Responding to the de-congestion strategy and the latest BusinessWise survey, NSW Roads Minister Duncay Gay said that the results were "unfortunately not surprising."

“We will be having detailed consultation with the NRMA on all the matters they’ve raised and we’re also looking at recommendations from the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Review into CBD traffic chaos caused by the recent triathlon," Mr Gay said.

Mr Gay said adopting a target time of three hours in clearing major traffic incidents was one of the NRMA recommendations the O'Farrell Government "would certainly be taking action on."

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