Aucklanders Want Rail Harbour Crossing


A research poll out today from UMR Research says most Aucklanders questioned think there should be rail across the next harbour crossing.
79% think that there should be a rail service on the proposed new harbour crossing, with support particularly strong amongst 45-59 year olds (86%) and men (83%).
82% of the small sub-sample (42) of North Shore residents want railway lines included.
This support is noteworthy because the current Cost Cost Benefit Analysis released by NZTA does not factor in the cost of rail is treated an optional part of the project.

Only 241 people were sampled but it’s an encouraging sign.

Another bridge or a tunnel?

Options on a bridge versus tunnel option are more mixed.

  • 41% favour a tunnel
  • 38% want a new bridge
  • 12% do not want either
  • Men prefer a tunnel (45% for a tunnel, 36% for a bridge)
  • Women narrowly prefer a bridge (37% for a tunnel, 40% for a bridge).

The questions were asked as part of UMR Research’s late March nationwide omnibus, which is a nationally representative sample of n=750 New Zealanders aged 18 or over, of whom n=241 were in Auckland. Fieldwork was conducted from 24th to 27th March 2011. The margin of error for the sample of n=241 for a 50% figure at the ‘95% confidence level’ is ±6.3%. Although the moderate sample size means the results have to be treated with some caution, the balance in favour of rail is much greater than the margin of error.

In another recent UMR poll, 33% of those questioned said they want Queen St  closed to all traffic and made into a pedestrian mall.

31% prefer making it a shared zone, where only vehicles with business in thelocal area (e.g. delivery vehicles) can enter.

32% want to keep Queen St as it is.

Support for changing Queen St is clearly higher among those over 45.

72% of 45-59 year olds and 69% of over 60 year olds want Queen St changed,compared with 56% of under 30 year olds and 61% of 30-44 year olds.

The differences in the views of people living in central, west, south or eastAuckland or on the North Shore are within the margin of error – all areas have clear majorities.




  1. Matt L says:

    I think that rail is something that will eventually undo any proposal that doesn’t include it from day 1. Most Aucklanders now seem to see the non inclusion of rail on the existing bridge as one of the cities biggest mistakes we made and I feel that most people, especially those on the shore will now be extremely vocal if history repeats itself.

    The other thing is because of the long timeframes involved I think the call for rail will only get louder.

  2. richard says:

    There are two major problems with Auckland’s public transport
    1 It still radiates from the central city and to go anywhere else might require at least 2 changes taking all day to get anywhere

    2 Each trip requires a fare paid so it can be very expensive. A trip should require one ticket determined by the distance travelled in total regardless whether multiple operators are used.

    The Mayor is correct rail is required to the North Shore…….+ Airport loop and Eastern Suburbs loops.
    If these lines were built including the central loop line then we would have the backbone of a system

    Trains would not go to Britomart they would go say Albany to Papakura and then the next Albany to Swanson and so on….THE NORTHERN EXPRESS BUS CAN NEVER DO THIS AND PERPETUATES THE MULTIPLE CHANGE PROBLEM WE HAVE….

    Why can the dumbos in Parliament not see this. A trip to any major city overseas will give them examples, but they can pay their own fares!

    Hopefully the fare changes proposed will address 2

  3. Cam says:

    “2 Each trip requires a fare paid so it can be very expensive. A trip should require one ticket determined by the distance travelled in total regardless whether multiple operators are used.”

    Not for much longer:

  4. Matt L says:

    Richard - Transfers are an issue now but they needn’t be in the future providing they are quick, easy and free. Overseas transfers are pretty common.

    As an example you could have a north shore line coming into the CBD with trains running every 5 minutes. Within the same station in the CBD you could then have trains running out west every 5 minutes. That means at the most you would only wait 5 minutes for the next train but more like only 1 or 2 minutes.

    By comparison if you want to avoid transfers you could have 1 train every 10 minutes from the shore head south and 1 train every 10 minutes head west. Doing it that way then you still have a train every 5 minutes to the CBD but if you want to head somewhere else then you might need to wait up to 10 minutes for the train you want to arrive.

  5. richard says:

    These are the points i was making Matt and Cam. We seem to all agree.
    How does the Gold Card fit into the “Hop” set up? If I present a card now I don’t pay but get a ticket and the operator claims the fare from presumably the Council or Government. I am not worried having a free trip but i see the operators creaming it even more getting a trip fare every part of say a trip using a ferry, bus and train?

    Government stuffed it up not negotiating a special rate for the GC with operators and they claim a full fare despite these being extra bums on empty seats.
    Government are now saying it costs too much !!! They don’t add it’s due to their ineptitude.

  6. Carl says:

    they interviewed 241 people.

    seriously try interviewing 2000 or 5000 people over a period of time.

    I’m all for it, but people are just going to laugh at that data.

    241 people isn’t even enough people for a small town…

  7. Jon C says:

    @Carl May be only 241 but the significant thing is that in all recent surveys any sample of Aucklanders demand rail with their meal.
    3 years ago they didnt even know rail existed in Auckland.
    That shift has been picked up and enhanced by the new Mayor’s policies and will increasingly make it difficult for those officials and bodies with only road goggles on.

  8. Luke says:

    79% is good for 243 people interviewed. If it was 60/40 I would be skeptical but 79% is overwhelming enough.

  9. DanC says:

    Build a rail tunnel only, then demo & rebuild the current bridge recycling what ever can be used.

  10. Scott says:

    DanC, Kinda a waste to destroy our current bridge isn’t it? In addition it would be political suicide to shut down SH1 and force all road freight, late night traffic and car lovers to drive the (now extremely congested) long way round.

  11. DanC says:

    Hey Scott, isn’t the current bridge at the end of it’s lifespan? If it doesn’t need to be replaced then that’s great!

  12. Matt L says:

    DanC - Not it has plenty of life in it yet. the only concern with the existing bridge is the clip ons. They have recently be strengthened and have at least 20 more years worth of use in them and the NZTA have previously said that with more active management of them they could last much longer still.


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