Rugby Fans, Get Real!


It’s a sign of our obsessive car culture that people moan about having to walk for 10 minutes as if it’s the end of the world.
The morning tabloid seems to be waging a campaign against Morningside, not Kingsland, being the exit station for people out west arriving for Eden Park matches.
They find easy targets by quoting people with walking disabilities that will need assistance anywhere to get to places. Quite frankly if you have paid a lot of money for a RWC match, a taxi expense will be just an add-on.

There is absolutely no need to waste millions so that all trains can go to Kingsland.

Morningside station to Eden Park is an easy 10 minute walk. It’s not even uphill.

It seemed to work for most people on Saturday’s Blues game.

Rugby fans walking to Saturday's game from Morningside

Anyone who has gone to international events and stadia overseas expects such a walk.

But Kiwis are so pampered by driving in their car to go to a diary around the corner -something I see happen often - the thought of having to use public transport then walk seems to be a dreadful unnecessary and unacceptable inconvenience.

I hope Auckland Transport doesn’t give in and waste money trying to appease these lazy buggers. We need all the remaining money in the safe to be spent on rail projects we actually need for the future, not for the four months of the RWC 2011.

At this rate, we won’t get the numbers expected walking from the CBD to Eden Park on a wintery RWC 2011 match night. Expect taxis to do an even bigger roaring trade than anticipated.




  1. GRAHAM says:

    With the extensive ` no-car’ zone around Eden Park for major matches now, vast numbers of spectators who drive in their cars to Eden Park are going to have to walk a lot further than the short distance between the Morningside Station and Eden Park anyway.

  2. Matt L says:

    The Herald never has problems finding people to complain.

  3. Jon Reeves says:

    Haha - over here in Switzerland people walk quite happily to a football match….even if it’s 20 minutes away.

    Funny how NZ is 2nd in the world for obesity (after USA) and Switzerland has the slimest females in all of Europe. One place walks, one place complains and drives everywhere.

  4. Mark says:

    part of the problem was that they started this “trial” too early - thye haven’t done up teh footpaths on the walking route.

    they did a bit on lighting - but road is also used to stack buses etc, and isn’t that inviting. They could pedestrianise the whole road through to Sandringham - at least get people onto something flat and even - away from overhanging trees etc.

    Like a lot of this RWC stuff hasn’t been well done. Road closures were a shambles, communciation is shocking…..

  5. San Luca says:

    My sentiments exactly. Good work Jon

  6. Doloras says:

    Everyone talks about the glorious PT-friendly stadium in Wellington, which is a good 10 minutes walk from the train and buses.

    Seriously - the use of language in those Herald articles. “Bloody disgusting”, “shameful”… where does all this incredible anger towards having to walk a little bit come from?

  7. Matt says:

    Jon, actually the WHO has us placed 7th. Which is still awful, but is a long way from 2nd.

  8. Nathan says:

    I have to wonder where the Herald’s antagonism towards public transport comes from - I’d be willing to bet people on trains and buses buy far more newspapers than those driving.
    This is another great example where I have to wonder if someone at APN Media doesn’t have some sort of agenda against public transport. Sounds a bit paranoid but I’m at a loss to explain their stance on trains, buses etc at times.

  9. greenwelly says:

    @Deloras and @Mark, While the distance is probably the same, Wellington’s walk-up is probably more pedestrian friendly that the street walk from/to Morningside,

  10. kris_b says:

    I certainly don’t see people complaining about the walk from the station to the Cake Tin in Welly, up to 640m just to the stadium gates!

    Edit: I agree it’s more pedestrian friendly, but probably not that friendly mid-winter when the Welly rain and wind kicks in.

  11. Jon Reeves says:

    Matt - an international study released last week, and was the hot topic here in Switzerland, showed NZ 2nd fattest. Of course the Swiss were pleased as Swiss females are ranked the slimest in Europe.

    The fact that NZ is anywhere in the top 10 is terrible…and it all ranks on our dependance on cars and junk food. We follow the USA on both those fronts which is incredibly bad.

    More PT usage might shake a couple of Kgs off kiwis!

  12. LucyJH says:

    twas quite funny when they found all those people who complained about being unfairly ticketed for driving in bus lanes. Then the council did some research and found that, actually, most people don’t drive in the bus lanes if a ticketing officer is clearly visible - i.e., [people clearly don’t do it because otherwise it’s impossible for them to turn safely. They do it because they can’t be bothered following the rules.

  13. greenwelly says:

    @Kris_b, in the winter months many people will walk along platform 9 , under the elevated walkway, and come up through the car park just next to the old Thordon over bridge ( the heavy line over the rail yard) , (about 20-50m from the gates

  14. eriq says:

    The Herald and the Labour Party use the same technique … always find the lowest of the low to side with, use the word “vulnerable” as much as possible, bitch and moan, and try to get anything that moves the country ahead canceled. Get votes, sell papers, screw any progress.

  15. Luke says:

    generally very much agree with the sentiment here (except eriq). However it is a fair point about those in wheelchairs, providng a few people to help those with disabilities would be a good idea.

    As for eriq , the herald and labour are almost always on the opposite side of the political spectrum, support of Public Transport included. The herald uses any opportunity it can to put PT down. Also the herald rarely gives a damn about the vulnerable, and we should be highlighting their plight.

  16. Andu says:

    Unbelievably Lazy People. 10 mins walk from a train station is NOTHING. Grow Up Auckland, For Christ Sake!

  17. Carl says:

    if these reports are true ( which they are probably not ) its quite stupid really.

    anyone who has been to a game at twickers will know its a good 15-20mins walk, not because of distance, but of the share volume of people going to and from the stadium.

    Its actually high time people actually just STFU and walked.

    what part of, the more people use it, the better chance more money might be spent on it for future upgrades?

    its an f’n footpath, just walk, who cares what the trees or the state of the foot path is. My only concern is the lighting, but then this raises two problems which the papers will def latch onto.

    first the people living in those streets will complain about all the people walking down there after a match (oh boohoo maybe what 10-15 nights of the year for about 2 hours after a game)

    secondly, then they’ll complain they can’t sleep because of the light.

    go to the fricken game, or go away for the weekend.

    Its a sure bet the ground was actually there before you moved into your house.

    Christ, every time something good happens pretty anywhere in NZ, there is always someone having a cry.

    It makes me laugh how any other place I have ever lived embraces events, sports whatever.

    get out and start a bbq or something, sell water or food along the way, the euros do it, get involved.

    don’t just sit there and have a cry.

  18. GJA says:

    Well said Carl.

    Re the footpaths, everybody wants gold plated footpaths and other services, but these people are the first to complain about increases in rates.

  19. Spartan says:

    These are people who would complain about the all whites receiving halberg awards. I have been to home bush in sydney to watch the all blacks vs australia and I caught the train, it was a huge crowd100,000 + but it was just accepted that queues would happen, people here are so quick to put the boot in. The work that has been put into the network has been amazing considering the neglect from the past 30 years, grow up Auckland!

  20. Owen Thompson says:

    The stunt of abandoning passengers at Morningside is madness. Kingsland has had $10M spent on it, now we find out it is only to be used for trains from Britomart.

    Also, last Saturday regular, ie non-rugby fanatics, were inconvenienced by the lack of trains on the Western line because of a bloody game of rugby.

    I have only found out recently that Newmarket will not be used, no doubt because of the ridiculous design that requires the driver to change ends. The result being that after fortunes have been spent on upgrading the train system, some nameless and mindless bureaucrat decides not to utilise the full system.

  21. Nick R says:

    Using Kingsland both ways for shuttle services, not servicing Newmarket, using Morningside for western services, using the track between Morningside and Kingsland to stable waiting trains and disrupting normal trains has been a core component of the transport management plan for about eighteen months now. It’s npt a ‘stunt’, they have been preparing to do this for a long time now.

    I know people love to blame ‘mindless bureaucrats’ and the like , but actually this is the only way they can utilise the system to it’s maximum potential. They spent a lot uprading the Kingsland track work precisely so they could operate it this way.

    The simple fact of the matter is that Kingsland is only a two platform station servicing a two track line. So without the budget to quadruplicate the line and double the platforms of the station they have to do this to squeeze every last drop out of it.
    That means using both platforms to run a train off each to Britomart as quickly as the signalling system can support. Taking western line trains out of the equation and removing the need to change ends at Britomart facilitates this.
    If you want to run regular western line trains straight through both ways according to the regular timetable then you’d roughly halve the event capacity of Kingsland meaning it would take over two hours to clear the projected crowds for each game.

    It’s a far from ideal situation, but it is the best they can do… of course if we had been able to build the new stadium downtown right next to the Britomart rail terminal, the bus interchange and the 60,000 CBD carparks this wouldn’t be a problem. But we are stuck with a national stadium in the middle of an old suburban area so we’ll have to make do with the little suburban stations and a traffic management plan that inconveniences a lot of Aucklanders.

  22. Mark says:

    Nick R - correct. no choice. and boy that CBD stadium, back filling empty trains on a friday night looks pretty good :)

    part of the issue was “testing” this before footpaths walking route done from Morningside. And once again disabled patrons forgotten about.

    We’ve just worked locally to get the disabled parking down from Dom rd end of Bellwood to Reimers - directly outside stand. First option wasn’t thought through. There was a shuttle, but too hard to operate with the tight angle parking, and a major pedestrian route.

    They need to improve footpaths/lighting etc, and also have a small disabled shuttle vehicle moving from station to stadium.

    What this highlights is that this venue can’t be used mid week with normal peak flows.

    Not sure anyone has realised the implications for the opening AB vs Tonga Friday night game - 7.30 opening ceremony. Doubt there will be many communter trains running anywhere

  23. richard says:

    This nonsense at Kingsland must not be repeated after the RWC it should be a one off. For rugby/cricket games or anything else at Eden Park special trains after that should run to Kingsland by all means but they must be spread between regular western services.

    The same with Mt Smart special trains should terminate at Penrose on the Onehunga Branch and run between regular Southern services.

    If this takes longer then so be it.

    I recall a maxim in retailing that says something like “You ignore your regular customers at your peril”
    The same must apply to public transport

  24. Bryan says:

    Every one is complaining about the trains.So be it.
    How about thinking about those who have to operate them.The Drivers,Carriage attendants,Train control.On friday they did a good job to try and get everyone to their destination,but they couldn’t guess how many would want to use the trains.I watched Westfield station for nearly two hours and every train was full.At 5pm there was only one 4 car DMU train in the yard,presumably because everyone else was out serving the community.To all those staff.congratulations guys YOU did a good job.


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