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Auckland’s train disaster - History should have warned

10 September 2011

Media Release

Auckland’s train disaster - History should have warned Auckland Transport

We are the right destination to host the Rugby World Cup and will be successful hosts, despite Auckland Transport losing its opening game last night.

“With the money and time invested to plan for yesterday, they should have had a better result. A bus-based backup transport system is essential for the next big game at Eden Park, says Auckland Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett.

“History should have told Auckland Transport that rail alone was never going to cope for a sold out Eden Park.

“Yet all their planning directed people to use the trains. From mid-morning yesterday it was clear that the trains were overloaded. Auckland Transport failed to respond quickly enough.

“Expecting people to sit on a stalled train for more than an hour is unacceptable. The whole day was under-planned and under resourced.

“A better spread of buses for moving people to the rugby and other venues when the next big match against France takes place is essential.”

It was also a mistake to direct Aucklanders to the waterfront with an expectation of getting onto Queens Wharf. We should have had more venues set up with big television screens for watching the match and entertainment.

Weeks ago we knew there would be 150,000 people coming to the opening. There should have been a spread of venues instead of expecting everyone to come to the waterfront.

“We have time to fix this – a back up transport system and a better spread of venues to watch the games must be part of our learning from last night. From a business and reputation perspective a repeat of last night’s public transport failure, must never be allowed to happen again.”

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