TomTom New Zealand Commuting Insights 2023

It took longer to drive around Christchurch during rush hour than five other cities across Aotearoa New Zealand in 2023.

That was one of several notable takeaways in an annual study published on Wednesday by TomTom which analyzed traffic trends from the past year across every major city worldwide.

TomTom's New Zealand city traffic rankings 2023

Christchurch commuters on average took 19 minutes and 10 seconds to drive 10 kilometres, which TomTom determined is roughly the average commuting distance worldwide. That mark was ahead of Wellington (18 minutes) and Dunedin (17 minutes). Christchurch commutes were the 95th-slowest in the world out of 387 ranked cities in the index.

London’s rush-hour traffic, which TomTom defined as between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and then 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays, was the world’s worst. An average London commute was almost twice as long as Christchurch’s (37 minutes and 20 seconds).

London's ranking

Auckland had the largest increase from 2022, with average commuting travel time per 10 kilometres increasing by 1 minute, while Wellingtons commuting times recorded no change and Hamiltonians commuting times reduced by 40 seconds.

TomTom’s study also found that Christchurch commuters spent 179 hours driving during rush hour last year, 69 of which were spent in traffic congestion, the equivalent of reading approximately 35 books.

Meanwhile, the worst day to travel in Wellington last year was February 22 when it took an average of 23 minutes to drive 10 kilometres around the city during rush hour. Unsurprisingly, this was not one of Wellingtons infrequent good days with historical weather showing rain and strong winds for most of the day.

So, when are the times to avoid travel?

Commutes in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton and Christchurch usually took the longest on Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. For Dunedin, its Friday afternoons between 2 p.m. to 3 p.m and it’s best to avoid travel on Tuesday mornings in Tauranga.

To generate the index, TomTom analysed 387 cities in 55 countries and six continents and anonymously studied driver habits across more than 33 billion kilometres.

Abley is a TomTom partner and we use insights derived from TomTom’s Traffic Analytics products to solve our clients transport challenges.

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