Rail Commuters’ Roading Black Spot


It feels like a tragedy waiting to happen.

Every time I travel on the night peak time Western line train, I shudder at the Kingsland stop when I see out the window, departing train passengers try to dash across Sandringham Road to get to the other side.

There is no crossing in sight, not even a pedestrian “refuge.”

Making a desperate dash last night

I have been watching for an hour or so at peak times this week. Traffic is lighter than normal as is the number of passengers alighting - but I still witness some scary moments.

It’s hopeless for anyone wanting to go towards Eden Park and Dominion Rd or to the streets on the other side of the road, heading towards St Lukes Rd.

In fact the nearest crossing is a long walk away, right down to Kowhai intermediate school around the corner (and there’s one  near Kingsland village on the corner of New North Rd and Sandringham Rd). In both cases  you would have to cross there and come all the way back  on the other side of the road. In the photo below taken from outside the station , the crossing is way down the end of the road , around the corner  from the photo on the left.

The nearest crossing on the train side of the road heading towards Sandringham is a very long walk right up to St Lukes Rd.

NO CROSSING: Looking towards Kowhai School from the station side

Traffic along Sandringham Rd is very busy at peak times.

Afternoon peak time traffic heading towards Sandringham yesterday

When they announced an underpass from the station, I initially assumed it was to go under Sandringham Rd.

But it’s to create an alternative route for pedestrians connecting with the station’s northern platform  so is really for the overflow of rugby fans.

When big night rugby games are on, Sandringham Rd is closed there anyway so people can easily walk across.

Sandringham Rd closed to traffic near the station during one of the night games

KiwiRail told me ARTA is in charge of the station but it’s Auckland City that is busy uplifting houses to widen footpaths and create a shortcut to Eden Park, a link lane between Walters and Sandringham Rds, all for the RWC.

Auckland City sign on the houses being moved

Did I hear someone mention we need a Rail Czar?

Quite frankly, I can’t understand why nothing has been done so far. Not even a refuge. The initially revamped station opened several years ago and has been getting busier.

I have been in touch with city councillors today and hope to have some good news in the next day or so.




  1. Gus says:

    Just a correction - there actually is a pedestrian crossing on Sandringham Rd about half way between the station and the St Lukes/Balmoral Rd intersection, by the shops.

    But, that’s not the point. I agree with you 100% as someone who uses Kingsland Station and walks via Walters Rd. It’s terrible.

  2. Jim C says:

    Chances are, once a pedestrian has been killed, then the crossing will appear.

  3. Andrew says:

    The nearest pedestrian crossings are actually here and here.

    Nevertheless those distances still preclude them from being used by any rail passengers.

    I regularly transfer from train to bus here, crossing the road in the evenings, and it’s not the nicest road to cross but at least it’s only one lane each way.

    When I went to the Eden Park information evening, I was told that there would, as part of the current redevelopment, be a set of pedestrian traffic lights here by the station lift, and that the citybound bus stop will be moved back to that point too.
    I’m not sure about the outbound bus stop, but I believe it is to be positioned just before the corner aswell.

  4. Su Yin Khoo says:

    I don’t understand why Auckland City rarely builds any infrastructure where people actually want to walk—instead putting them at silly places that will never be used.

    And then they wonder why these things they spend heaps of money on is never utilised.

    Uh, d’uh?

  5. Commuter says:

    Auckland City Council traffic engineers are convinced that the only people who matter on Auckland roads are motorists. Not only do they prioritise motor vehicles over pedestrians in terms of access to the streets but, increasingly, they seem to be ignoring pedestrian safety measures where ever they can get away with it. Ever tried crossing at a roundabout; or the new style left hand turns where there aren’t even pedestrian crossing markings (from recollection, good examples can be found at the corner of Franklin Road and Victoria Street West and the corner of Symonds Street and Waterloo Quadrant)? Being a pedestrian in Auckland is both an unpleasant and dangerous experience.

  6. Jon C says:

    @Andrew Thanks a lot. I have clarified the crossing near Kowhai, still, as you say, too far.

  7. James Pole says:

    @Su Yin Khoo: Indeed ACC, IMHO, seem to put crossings in places that don’t need them. Witness the extra crossings they’ve put along Queen Street which has increased bus and car journey time with little to no benefit for pedestrians.

    Maybe I’m a power walker, but surely the existing crossings were good enough?

    The money saved by not building unnecessary crossings could’ve been used to built crossings such as the one suggested in the article.

  8. Max Robitzsch says:

    As long as they don’t put signals in. Horrible “we will let you wait her” excuses for getting a good pedestrian crossing.

    A good refuge / kerb extension combination solves 75% of all problems.

  9. rtc says:

    A good pedestrian crossing that isn’t signalised is the best, why should pedestrians have to wait the 10 minutes for the lights to change that is stypical for all traffic crossings.

  10. Su Yin says:

    @James They have increased the number of times that pedestrians have to cross at main intersections (except Britomart) i.e. instead of waiting for all four sides and then a ped crossing, it’s now two sides and one ped crossing. Not great but at least it’s a faster transition. Also, I wonder if the extra crossings put in decreased the number of vehicles using Queen Street?

    Zebra crossings which forces motorists to pay attention and slow down are the best. Of course, there will still be the odd one who will run through it but they’ll probably run through anything anyway.

    Also, ever notice that people would still rather dash across the road than to use overhead bridges to cross roads? Pedestrians like to expend as little energy possible to get from A to B. Keep that in mind please, traffic engineers!

  11. curtissd says:

    Pedestrian crossing would be key, with raised kerbs to make it stand out.

  12. Andrew says:

    Agreed. A pedestrian crossing is better because it minimises wait time for pedestrians (vehicles must stop straight away) and it also makes things more efficient for vehicles (they don’t have to wait at a red light even though everyone has already completed crossing the road).


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