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Substitute Western Line Rail Services Chaos, Again

Phil Chase
Deputy Chair
Eden Albert Community Board

Substitute train services chaos repeated

The confusion around substitute train services on the western rail line is being repeated this Christmas. With work being done on the Western line at New Lynn and Newmarket, buses are being provided instead of trains over the new year period. These bus services have repeated the commuter confusion of 2006.

"Once again public transport commuters have been left abandoned at Xmas," said Mr Phil Chase, Deputy Eden Albert Community Board chair and regular public transport user.

Rail passengers on the 27th of December arrived at western stations with none of the promised signs displayed notifying them of the changed travel arrangements. Only a poster suggesting they contact MAXX. However Maxx call centre receptionists understand that all stations would have notices displayed, on the changes including where to catch the substitute buses. The promised notices have not been provided by Veolia the train company.

There is also confusion over the location of the bus-stops for the substitute trains. Maxx receptionists say the stop for Mount Albert is on the (absent) notices too, and suggested passengers ring Veolia. However Veolia receptionists say that the Mt Albert bus stop is on Carrington road directly outside the station - but this is a no stopping zone with metal fencing to prevent pedestrians from stepping off the footpath.

"Public transport users should be able to depend on the services to arrive and get them to work on time, but this service is a shambles. All the parties - Maxx, Veolia, and Stagecoach - lack specific information and are contradicting each other. And what's also galling is the fact that this is a repeat of the chaos that happened last Xmas."


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