Traffic volumes

Gaphic Image for Steady

Vehicle kilometres travelled (vkt) per person
Percentage change in traffic volumes

Purpose of indicator

Traffic volumes can impact on road safety and the environment through levels of vehicle noise, fuel consumption and emissions. Keeping track of traffic volumes assists in infrastructure planning for safety and for avoiding congestion.

Current information and trend

Figure 1 below shows vehicle kilometres travelled in the Rotorua district have remained steady since 2005. There was a very small percentage change each year, all less than 1%. Figure 2 shows that in 2010 there was a decrease from 3.2 (1000s of km) in previous years to 3.1 (1000s of km). This trend may be attributed to a decrease in the number of vehicles registered in the district (figure 3), and a rise in fuel prices making road travel more expensive. Whilst there may be a number of unregistered vehicles being driven within the district due to financial hardship in recent economic times, in general the trend shows there is less travel. Disincentives such as fines for unregistered vehicles may also be contributing to addressing this issue.

Image of Percentage change in traffic volumes (Chart)
Figure 1
Source: New Zealand Transport Agency 2012

Lake Road, which has a major intersection with Fairy Springs Road, is also being widened to four lanes. This project includes the removal of the Koutu bridge and runs from Fairy Springs Road to Ranolf Street. Its purpose is to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion.

Image of Vehicle travelled on locel road - kilometres (Chart)
Figure 2
Source: New Zealand Transport Agency 2012, and Statistics New Zealand 2012

Image of Number of Vehicles registered in the Rotorua District (Chart)
Figure 3.
Source: New Zealand Transport Agency, 2012

In 2011 the State Highway 5/ Fairy Springs Road/ Ngongotaha four-laning project was completed. Its purpose is to improve safety, reduce congestion and provide enhanced facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and buses, as well as improve access to tourism facilities on this road.

Photograph of Fairy Springs Road (Overview)
Figure 4. Fairy Springs Road following road widening project completion.
Source: Rotorua District Council, 2012
Photograph of Lake Road (Overview) 
Figure 5. Lake Road in the initial stages of works to widen the road to four lanes
Source: Rotorua District Council, 2012

Future projects include the Victoria Street Arterial and the Rotorua Eastern Arterial. These two will ultimately link up and their purpose is to improve traffic flow issues near the CBD and to Rotorua’s international airport and beyond.  The Rotorua Eastern Arterial route and commencement date has not yet been finalised, while the Victoria Street Arterial Route was finalised this year (2012) and a commencement date is yet to be set.

In summary

  • Vehicle kilometres travelled have remained steady since 2005
  • Percentage change each year has been less than 1%





Page reviewed: 03 Jul 2019 10:12am