18 Jan 2010

Train delays in Auckland could deter new users - NBA

1:20 pm on 18 January 2010

The Newmarket Business Association says delays on the first day of operation at a new railway station for the suburb, will dent user confidence in public transport.

The new station was meant to be fully operational on Monday for people returning to work, but difficulties occurred in commissioning new signalling at Newmarket junction.

The problem means one of Auckland's main commuter lines is still closed after three weeks. Replacement bus services are continuing.

The Newmarket Business Association says the delay is very disappointing considering the money that's been invested in the project.

Chief executive Cameron Brewer says KiwiRail should have foreseen any possible problems in the lead-up to opening day.

He says the delays do nothing to instill confidence in people thinking of using trains instead of cars.

KiwiRail says the trains are expected to be running again on Tuesday.

Waiting times too long

Meanwhile, a lobby group says waiting times between services at the new station are "unacceptable".

While the temporary delay is frustrating, Campaign for Better Transport says the new timetable is the main concern.

Spokesperson Graeme Easte says about a third of customers passing through the station will change trains.

He says the timetable shows many will face waits of between four and 13 minutes, with some exceptions.

He says it is vital the timetable is changed to make the meeting of services at Newmarket a priority.