RWC Opening Will Hit Commuters
Regular train commuters are being warned they’ll need to leave work early on Friday September 9 -the opening day of the Rugby World Cup 2011 at Eden Park.
Authorities say that from 3.30pm commuter train frequencies will reduce and services will become extremely busy carrying fans to Eden Park.
Drivers are warned that they will have delays in the CBD and Eden Park areas with some roads closed. The roads and public transport will be very busy.
So their message is: “Stay in town and be part of the fun or leave the CBD by early afternoon. Trying to get home from the CBD at peak time will be very difficult.”
Auckland Council CEO Doug McKay said businesses based in the central city may want to consider following the council’s recommendations to its own employees to leave work at 3pm or earlier on that Friday. Firms might also consider flexi-time for staff, car-pools (to reduce vehicles on roads), or holding an after-hours function so employees can stay on and enjoy the celebration.
“Getting out of the CBD at peak time on September the 9th will mean negotiating very heavy traffic and sharing public transport with thousands of Aucklanders and visitors from the early afternoon.
“Central city businesses and others should consider now how they will either leave the city early, or allow their staff time to attend the celebrations.”
Free waterfront celebrations will stretch from Queens Wharf to the Eastern Viaduct along Quay St. The event kicks off at 4pm with a fleet of 20 waka arriving and will include headline act The Finn brothers, as well as the largest fireworks and light show Auckland has ever seen.
In addition, the event will feature live coverage of the RWC 2011 Opening Ceremony and opening match from Eden Park on big screens at Queens Wharf, along Quay St and at the Eastern Viaduct.
The lower downtown area, including part of Quay St and streets north of Customs St, will be a pedestrian only zone from 10pm on Thursday September 8 until 4am on Saturday September 10.
The problem for those outside the CBD will be getting into the CBD to enjoy the celebrations.
The September 9 Opening Night celebrations aim to attract up to 50,000 people to Auckland’s waterfront. In addition, there are 60,000 people who will attend the opening match at Eden Park, many of them via the Britomart and CBD.
So inner city workers and residents around Eden Park will be impacted and there will be some street closures.
We’ve already seen the trial runs but this will be bigger.