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Traffic congestion hurting Western Sydney business

Figures show heaving traffic is costing small businesses $5.1 billion per year.

"Job-killing" traffic congestion caused by decades of under-investment in transport infrastructure is costing more than a third of western Sydney businesses up to $5000 a year.

More than 75 per cent of business owners in the region believe traffic snarls and peak-hour hold-ups are even worse than they were 12 months ago.

These figures reflecting the neglect by a series of state and federal governments are detailed in the NRMA Business Motoring Survey of close to 500 businesses that run or use vehicle fleets.

Heavy traffic is costing $5.1 billion per year

Clogged roads and motorways - more than 70 per cent of the 800,000 workers who live in western Sydney use their cars to get to work - are hitting productivity with bosses reporting employees are finding it hard to get to work on time, are stressed after battling the traffic and businesses are knocking back work as a result.

Figures show heavy traffic is costing $5.1 billion per year. That figure is expected to leap to $8.8 billion by 2020.

Angus Sharkey, Sydney area sales manager for Golden Field Flooring at Wetherill Park, which supplies hardwood and bamboo flooring for sale through retailers, agrees congestion is a massive burden on business.

Mr Sharkey said his delivery drivers could not guarantee when the products would arrive.

"They are always late because they get stuck in traffic," Mr Sharkey said. "We use a trucking company - GMK Logistics - for deliveries and they find it very hard to stick to delivery timetables because the traffic across the city is so bad."

Congestion not only hurts the quality of life of families, it also made it harder for small businesses to make a profit and expand

The NRMA survey found more than 40 per cent of businesses have been forced to make changes to the way they do business in an effort to deal with the impact of traffic congestion.

Mr Sharkey said his sales reps do not leave the office until 10am to wait for the traffic to die down.

NRMA president Kyle Loades said congestion not only hurts the quality of life of families, it also made it harder for small businesses to make a profit and expand.

"Congestion is a job and productivity killer," Mr Loades said. "Fleet-running businesses in western Sydney are spending money on covering the costs of congestion when it should be spent on growing the business and hiring more staff."

The current NSW Government said it had set aside $2.4 billion to "smash" congestion through a massive infrastructure program.

But while close to 50 per cent of businesses surveyed believe this needs to be done, about 20 per cent are opposed to the policy.

As part of its Rebuilding NSW plan for Sydney roads, the Government wants to build a western harbour tunnel, starting in 2020.

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