Business productivity and profits stuck in Sydney traffic: NRMA Survey

03 July 2019
Sydney Traffic
Sydney Traffic Mobile

More than 80 percent of Sydney’s fleet running businesses say their staff are wasting time sitting in traffic, costing each business thousands of dollars in hours of lost productivity, according to the annual NRMA Business survey.

Now in its 12th consecutive year, the 2019 NRMA Business Survey of 445 fleet-running businesses has found most (89%) businesses agree Sydney’s congestion has increased in the last year.

The survey found more than one quarter (28%) of NRMA business Members are wearing costs of between $1,000 to $5,000, and 13 percent between $5,001 to $10,000.

The NRMA provides specialised roadside assistance, corporate driver training, fleet support and advocacy voice to more than 28,000 fleet-running businesses.

This year’s survey of those businesses also found:

  • Almost half (49%) estimate congestion has cost their business one or more hours per day in time stuck on the road, an increase of more than 10 percentage points on last year
  • One in five estimate congestion occupies more than a third of the working day

Key insights from the 2019 survey:

Congestion
89% think congestion worsened over the past year
Travel time
53% allowed more travel time due to congestion
Fuel
68% used more fuel because of congestion
Stuck in traffic
81% estimate time was wasted stuck in traffic
Wear and tear
44% experienced greater wear and tear on fleet
Routes
51% changed regular travel routes to beat congestion

In addition to time wasted in traffic, other ways business members felt the impact of congestion was through using more fuel (68%), paying more money for tolls (55%) and wasting time looking for parking (52%).

Public support for Government transport projects is increasing, with 25 percent of respondents ranking WestConnex first in terms of priority and 62 percent ranking it among the top three transport projects. The Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport road infrastructure came second, with 45 percent ranking it among the top three.

NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said tackling congestion was a strategic priority for the NRMA to help keep Members and business Members moving efficiently and safely.

“Congestion is an economic growth killer. Time spent in traffic equals money for small businesses and that’s wasted revenue that could have been spent on hiring more staff or growth,” Mr Khoury said.

“The NRMA Business Motoring Survey shows us the importance of prioritising roads and public transport if our economy is to continue to grow and staff are able to get home to their families on time at night.

“Projects like WestConnex, NorthConnex, and SouthConnex (F6 extension) have the full support of the NRMA to tackle our growing city’s worsening congestion and businesses look forward to them opening in order to help reduce congestion.”

In addition, more than half of businesses told the NRMA they have had to allow more travel time for deliveries or call outs; more than half believed changes made as a result of congestion have had a negative financial impact on their business; and almost half are changing travel routes.

The NRMA also believes solutions can be found in new technology to keep traffic flowing, including smart motorways, traffic drones, and real-time data.