Anzac weekend disruptions mean careful travel planning critical
Wellingtonians are being warned to plan ahead in order to cope with what could be the biggest disruption to public transport the city has ever seen as thousands flock to Anzac centenary events on Friday and Saturday.
Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair Fran Wilde says commuters should expect major disruptions to bus services on Friday and Saturday. Anyone attending Anzac centenary events or relying on access into or through the city should plan carefully and allow plenty of time, she says.
"These are an important two days for Wellington both locally and as the capital of our nation at this solemn time. We can't accurately predict numbers, but we know the events could attract more people to the city than any other programmes of events held here.
"People simply can't treat it as a typical big occasion. They need to plan ahead and leave plenty of time so they can get where they want to go and when they want to get there."
On Friday roads through the central city will be closed from mid-morning due to the lunchtime street parade. Buses will be diverted and, in some cases, cancelled. The regional council is advising people to check with its public transport arm Metlink well before Friday to carefully plan their travels.
Delays are expected even as services return to normal later in the afternoon. School bus services will run as normal but may also be delayed due to traffic.
On Saturday from 3am the regional council is putting on early morning train services from Waikanae, Upper Hutt and Johnsonville to get people to the dawn service. People in these areas are strongly encouraged to catch a train because parking in the city and near the park will be at a premium.
There won't be special early morning bus services from the suburbs because the road closures in the city itself would simply cause delays, with buses adding to the congestion.
However, there will be free shuttle buses running in both directions between the Lambton Interchange at Wellington Railway Station and Cambridge Terrace near Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, from 3.45am till 1.30pm. They will be available to anyone travelling between the two locations, but the council is encouraging those who are able to take the 30 minute walk.
"For those driving we strongly recommend carpooling with friends and neighbours, then parking in the inner-city or surrounding suburbs and, preferably, walking to the park - or catching a shuttle from the station if you need to," Ms Wilde says. "Parking buildings will be open especially early to accommodate this."
Extra capacity will be provided on regular bus services later on Saturday morning and in the early afternoon to take people to and from the 11am national commemoration service at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.
Extra capacity will also be provided on train services throughout Anzac Day and GO Wellington will be providing shuttle services from Courtenay Place to Westpac Stadium for the AFL game in the afternoon.
"This weekend is a very special time for the capital and we're doing the best we can to help the large numbers of people get around as easily as possible," Ms Wilde says. "But please help us by planning your travel carefully and factoring in plenty of time for delays."
All public transport will run to a Sunday timetable on Sunday 26 April and the public holiday on Monday 27 April.
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