Solving The St Lukes Problem


When the proposed St Lukes mall expansion was debated here - and some of us raised questions about the traffic and public transport issues it brought, it was generally agreed St Lukes was a magnet for cars and not public transport-friendly.

Fantasies about enabling Morningside train station to be diverted closer to the mall or at least having a shuttle bus run between the Morningside Drive station and the mall, about 10 minutes walk away, came to nothing.

ST LUKES: It has encouraged cars as a way to visit the centre

The St Lukes residents association has been fighting the expansion to the Environmental Court and in January was seeking for the proposed plan change allowing for the expansion to be declined in its entirety. They especially took issue with the commissioners’ views that traffic concerns were not a biggie despite submissions that the change in traffic would be significant and not minor.

Since then Auckland Transport has improved public transport options for St Lukes with the introduction of the Outer Link which stops opposite St Lukes.

So it was pleasing to note Auckland Transport helpers this weekend handing out flyers at the entrance of the mall - encouraging people to do their Christmas shopping to St Lukes via bus.

The flyers included a guide to bus options - but did not mention the train.

It’s also part of a laudable promotion to encourage you to travel by public transport for your Christmas shopping and win a $300 voucher of your choice.

Carrying numerous large parcels on the train or bus is not easy especially if it also means walking from a bus stop to your home at the end of the journey.

But shopping mall carparks like St Lukes get full up on the days and late shopping nights leading up to Christmas and public transport takes that hassle out of finding a park.

And only by running such promotionsal activity, will we slowly change the mindset of people that the only way to go shopping is by their motor vehicle.

Westfield, owners of St Lukes, has introduced 240 minute parking restrictions at the mall and others they own and have been enforcing them by towing cars away. If you need to stay longer such as including a movie with your shopping you have to notify the customer relations desk.




  1. Matt L says:

    I noticed people with AT jackets on handing out similar information at the Newmarket train station last week.

    I still think the best way to get people to do their shopping via PT is to introduce a widespread campaign like Lynnmall did last year where they offered free delivery of goods if you used PT to get to the mall.

  2. AKT says:

    @Matt L Yes that was a brilliant promotion.

  3. ingolfson says:

    The key is really getting the casual shoppers, and the people going there mainly for a movie etc… - you won’t get the people doing a “big shop” to use the bus.

    Still, better infrastructure / services is worth abut 10 times better promotion. I am always a bit cynical about promo campaigns, I guess.

  4. penfold says:

    It will be interesting to see how the Outer Link’s frequency is impacted by going past St Lukes during the Christmas shopping period.

  5. Owen Thompson says:

    How long does a Outer Link circuit take?

  6. Evan J says:

    Anyone wanting to shop at St Lukes needs to make sure they are there at 9 am, because there is still plenty of parking. I’m fine, I can walk there in 10 minutes. However, I tend to avoid shopping there, because most of the shops I use are across the road, and parking still isn’t a problem there. I don’t regard going by bus or train much of an option because shoppers still have to cart home anything they buy.

  7. Nick R says:

    I’ve not had a car for almost six years now and do all of my shopping by bus or train. The only time I ever have trouble is when buying furniture, which I just get delivered anyway. Going to the mall is no problem, a few bags of clothes or shoes or whatever is fine on the bus. Although I must admit I don’t do a huge family shop at the supermarket once a week as I prefer to get a smaller amount of stuff more often.

    I do find it a little funny that people will happily carry their purchases hundreds of metres across a car park, but doing the same to a bus stop is not an option.

    I bet if they were to survey all the people visiting St Lukes the vast majority of them would not be taking home more purchases than they could comfortably carry in their hands.

  8. Simon C says:

    Exactly Nick. I lived in a small dormitory town in Japan for a few years and many people would take the train in (25minsby the express limited stops) to Kyoto and go shopping there on a Sunday including myself.

    Coming back in the evening the train would be packed with people carrying multiple bags of shopping. They never found it a problem and neither did I.

    The comment by the commissioner in the St Lukes expansion report about PT being no good for people carrying shopping was just a complete load of BS!

  9. Rob says:

    Simon C. Totally agree! I too have lived in Japan for some years…and am still living there. There is no problem whatsoever in using trains to go mall / supermarket shopping. Its stupid that AT are not promoting the train to St Lukes and getting Westfield to run a shuttle bus (or putting on a shuttle services themselves on say Thursday / Friday nights and weekends) especially for the Xmas season. Westfield should as a matter of course be doing what Lynmall have done and offer free home delivery for all who take the bus / train and who have items they can’t so easily take back home with them via PT.

  10. Bob says:

    Traffic at St lukes is already horrendous. Any initiatives to support public transport should be applauded. Hopefully Westfield start to move away from their bully tactics and start working more with their communities.


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