Britomart this morning. This now ordinary reality for many is perhaps still too new for some, especially for those who don’t visit the city, or who are stuck in the past, as Auckland is changing really fast. The great news is that because this is change born of growth we can decide what shape we want this young city to take. In particular by choosing which infrastructure we invest in. Do we want more successes like Britomart for example, or just more motorway?


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  1. Perhaps we are stuck in reality. Sitting in a small queue of cars in Barrack Rd last week I watched a secondary school girl signal a bus, and it went straight past without stopping. She and another girl from the same school haven’t been at that bus stop since. No doubt they have found a more reliable method of getting to school.

    1. About two years ago all of the shore residents got their tits in a tangle because the students going to school meant someone ‘really important in Milford’ couldn’t catch the bus because it was full. Some bus drivers started refusing to pick up any students, ridiculous, ridiculous system.

  2. Thanks Patrick. Once in a while it’s great to stop and look at what we *have* achieved. It seems small because we want for so much, but — hell’s teeth! — we’re moving forward. From the seemingly microscopic like managing to change the Auckland Transport website to list Bus Train Ferry / Walking and Cycling before Driving & Parking, as it always was; to the rather more biggerer projects like integrated ticketing, it’s all moving. We’re about to have a genuine, protected, connected cycleway almost from Henderson to the CBD, for goodness’ sake… and these things wouldn’t have happened if we all hadn’t gotten off some chuffs and given a damn. Keep it up, you lot. My kids thank you.

    1. My understanding is that it was the designers contracted to work on the new AT website that pushed for the walking, cycling, bus train etc to be front and centre, the original brief from the people setting up AT at the time was basically for a site which detailed where car parks were and what roads were being upgraded.

  3. Maybe we (and all those who experience the full trains, train platforms, buses etc.) could tweet photos like this to Gerry et al with a suitably creative hash tag to show them this election year this (great) reality and the choices Aucklanders want… Between transportblog, generation zero and the likes of CAA for example it could maybe get some traction?

    1. How about


      or do we need


      (clunkier, and also (too?) close to @AKLTransport’s Twitter?

    1. Those aren’t real people on the escalator, just cardboard cutouts placed there by fringe groups like Transport Blog

  4. I suspect that Londoners stand to the right on escalators as then they can use their hand to hold onto the rail. As righthanders are in the majority this is the most ‘natural’ side to use. This, of course, differs from the side of the road we, and Britain, drive on and as studies have shown tend to walk on.
    This, however, is not as much the rule on Auckland footpaths where I suspect that the high number of immigrants from lefthand drive countries has skewed things. In the case of the escalators at Britomart I suspect that the handrail side was decided on by applying NZ road rules.

  5. Memo from Key, Brownlee and Joyce: Stop bothering us with reality. Come back when you can show me a photo of 20million people trying to get up those stairs….

  6. For those old enough to remember, compare the number of people to how many used to use the old Strand station. Worlds apart.

      1. To get it out of the city! Unbelievably. Was meant to come with an underground link to the city under Albert Park with a station where the Victoria St carpark is, in fact that is why the car park is there; the Council bought the land for this rail link. Alternatively there was also the early CRL or ‘Morningside Deviation’ which sounds peculiar doesn’t it.

        Anyway the only part of the plan that got funded was the useless part- moving the station from the very site that now occupies agin: Britomart.

      2. Part of the reason was to get rid of the smoke from the trains from the bottom of Queen St. Trains were fairly toxic back then.

    1. Yes. When I used the trains there used to be a bus waiting and the number of people who got off the train couldn’t even fill one bus. Still I thought it was a great service, like driving on an empty motorway.

        1. That’s right Patrick, I used to sit in an oversized leather seat that had been softened by thousands of users and get into town from Ellerslie in 15 minutes without needing to buy a debit card to do the trip, you just paid the guard if he bothered to come through, otherwise it was free. And being a Council employee no one gave a stuff if you turned up late. I was the perfect candidate for public transport- I even voted Labour regardless of what they did to us.

  7. Thanks to all for the information, on plans for the strand. I once got the train there once, from Wellington, but could not afford the buffet.

    I enjoyed the one about Train Fumes in Queen Street. Eradicating smoking seems like splitting hairs whilst we have the present situation.

    You might have thought my bumper car comment, wasn’t serious, you may have been right, but……

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