Congestion is killing business

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 BusinessWise members found that 82 per cent believed congestion had worsened over the last 12 months, two percentage points higher than NRMA’s last BusinessWise congestion survey in 2007 (80%).


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


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.


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


The Businesswise congestion survey also found:

  • 75 per cent said their journey to work is now longer than 12 months ago

  • 67 per cent of businesses said fuel consumption had increased due to congestion

  • 39 per cent experienced a slowdown in productivity

  • 29 per cent experienced a decrease in staff punctuality

  • 10 per cent 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 said.


Ms Machin said 75 per cent of businesses surveyed said roads would 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.


“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 Businesswise survey found very few businesses (14%) believed the NSW Government’s Transport Plan would improve congestion, with almost 80 per cent (78%) 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,” Ms Machin said.

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