Council asks: do you have a Plan B during strike?
23 September 2008
Council asks: do you have a Plan B during bus strike?
Acting Wellington Mayor Ian McKinnon urges Wellingtonians to come up with alternative plans for travel into central Wellington tomorrow and possibly in the days beyond, in the event of planned industrial action by the Tramways Union.
Go Wellington bus drivers will strike between 7.30am and 8.30am tomorrow, Wednesday 24 September and have threatened to strike during morning and evening peak hours on Thursday and Friday, and into next week, as well.
“This has the very real potential to create absolute gridlock on Wellington roads,” Councillor McKinnon says. “Tens of thousands of people travel into the central city each day by bus, and a lot of those people may have to bring their cars in over the next few days – and we’re already at capacity for parking in the city.”
Councillor McKinnon says Wellington City Council is putting pressure on the parties to resolve the pay dispute that has lead to this industrial action. “The planned action will obviously cause major inconvenience to commuters, school children, business travellers from the airport and many other locals and visitors.”
He encourages Wellingtonians to think ‘what’s my Plan B?’
“Mana Newlands, Valley Flyer and train services won’t be affected by the strike, so we urge people whose public transport isn’t affected to use public transport even if they normally take their car. Every car we can keep off the roads will help with alleviating any gridlock once people reach the city,” Cr McKinnon says.
He notes the industrial action could provide impetus for community-minded actions and the instigation of car-pooling plans. “We’re saying to passengers if you have no other option, go to a bus stop anyway, and we’re asking drivers to stop and pick people up from bus stops. This has worked well in the past, as Wellingtonians are known for being community-minded.
“If the strike does continue over some days, Wellingtonians might like to talk with their neighbours about sharing driving duties. All parties are doing everything possible to resolve this situation, but we’re urging people to have a short term and a medium term plan in case the dispute is not resolved quickly.”
The best thing to do may be to avoid the central city altogether and work from home. “I hope the city’s employers will show some flexibility to workers in this regard,” Cr McKinnon adds.
Cr McKinnon says Council staff have been talking to Police about managing traffic as effectively as possible during the hours of the industrial action and for the hours following, as the action is expected to have a flow-on effect on traffic throughout the day as bus services return to normal.