RWC: “International Experts” Sorting Out Transport


The Chamber of Commerce - the latest officials to dampen down concern over the RWC transport issue- say unnamed “international experts” have been brought to Auckland and “are working full time on transport planning for this event.”

Michael Barnett , who is planning co-ordinator for Auckland’s RWC arrangements, says these experts will ensure Auckland gets it right – and added: “and we will.”

“This is one occasion when failure is not an option.”

I agree. But it would help to share sharing those names of these transport experts and their track record so we can all sleep better at night!

He suggested that media take a look at “the area surrounding Eden Park to see the recent progress” and listed this as being:

  • Roading upgrades – Sandringham Road being realigned
  • Railway station upgrades – Morningside and Kingsland
  • New pedestrian links to public transport being built – The ‘Link Lane’ connecting Sandringham to Walters Road

Morningside was upgraded but will trains get there on time?

This is all very well but the officials popping up in the media in the last few hours obviously have never used an Auckland train in recent months.

They have no idea about how difficult Aucklanders are finding coping with the day to day service - let alone a weekday when thousands of people will descend on trains to see an Eden Park match.

Every week, it seems there are mechanical breakdowns, the threat  of signal failures, delays and trains being held up until they can enter  the Britomart tunnel. And we’re talking five minute intervals for RWC trains.

Link lanes and footpath upgrades are great in Sandringham Rd outside the stadium once you arrive- but this isn’t the issue. We still have a train service not adequate for a modern city and it’s about rugby ticketholders who have paid over a thousand dollars a ticket in some cases getting to that game by train in time for kickoff.

And when Auckland Mayor John Banks talked on Campbell Live tonight  about many people choosing to walk, he ignores the fact it’s winter time and even the hardiest of Lions supporters won’t be keen to walk kilometres in rain in a city they are not used to.

Mr Barnett says: “We know how many people we need to move, when we need to move them and how we will move them. It will be rail, bus, coach, and walking opportunities.”

Great to hear. Can I suggest he and other officials take a week to use the trains on a day to day basis and just assure Auckland that rugby fans won’t face any of the same things we deal with.

Remember this story the other week when at least one famous person tried our train service?




  1. Matt L says:

    I agree, they should be named and Barnett, Banks and Joyce should be made to catch the train for a week, particularly the on the Western line so they can see all the delays we have

  2. curtissd says:

    I agree shouldn’t people in charge of public transport use public transport to get around?

  3. ingolfson says:

    “This is one occasion when failure is not an option.”

    So, on normal occasions, failure IS an option? That explains a lot!

    As for making Joyce and so on catch the train - be real, people. After a week of that, they would shoot anyone who even dares to suggest PT. Converting people works via the positives, not the negatives.

  4. Jimmy says:

    Why pick on the Western Line? In a few months all the construction and upgrades causing most of the delays will be complete. It’s not really relevant for the RWC. If anything pick on Newmarket: it doesn’t really have any excuse for causing delays; and most RWC trains will be passing through here.

  5. Su Yin says:

    @Ingolfson: Leadership by example, right? Isn’t that a positive way to convert people to use public transport?

    If they were subjected to sub-standard public transport services—or had to walk 30 minutes on crappy footpaths with illogical crossings all the while breathing in intoxicating diesel fumes everyday—I’ll wager they will use every inch of their power and influence to make it into a world class system faster than you can say electrification.

    They have no clue as to what people who use these services go through on a daily basis so there’s not very much incentive for them to prioritise it.

  6. Claire Del says:

    I agree that the concept of ‘Leadership by example” is relevant here, which I why I think it is important that the record is set straight.

    Michael Barnett regularly uses the train - in fact, he comes back and forth from Pukekohe during every working week.

    Michael Barnett has been a passionate advocate for the improvement of Auckland Transport for many years. He has strived relentlessly to make Auckland a world-class city.

    As far as ‘leading by example’ goes, you couldn’t find a person who is more committed or loyal to Auckland’s success.

    Am I biased? Absolutely - I see how hard the man works everyday (at the Auckland Chamber of Commerce) to ensure that our city is a place we’re all proud of.

  7. Jon C says:

    Claire, that’s great to hear. We look forward to Mr Barnett, who I know is hard working, helping make it a success.

  8. Su Yin Khoo says:

    Thanks for that, Claire! I stand corrected


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