30 Jan 2023

Auckland weather: Commuters warned to plan trips in advance and expect delays

10:35 pm on 30 January 2023
Passengers disembark at Britomart after the first journey on the city's new electric trains.

All Auckland train lines will be running on Tuesday, although buses will replace trains in some places. Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

Auckland Transport is warning people to plan their journeys ahead of time if they have to travel as there are still widespread delays across the city.

All the train lines are expected to be running on Tuesday - when the city's long weekend for its anniversary ends - although there may be some disruptions and in some places buses will replace trains.

30 January - Red level weather warnings (the most severe warnings) are currently in place for Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula. Because of this the National Emergency Management Agency has issued a safety warning that the forecast heavy rain could cause flooding, slips and damage. Scroll down to find the full list of their advice for keeping safe.

The only ferry to be impacted is the Rakino Island ferry, which will still not run in the inner harbour due to debris in the water.

The Morningside underpass will remain closed due to flooding.

The latest slip was affecting the western rail line and it would continue to run services on Tuesday but buses would need to replace trains between Newmarket and Britomart, Auckland Transport spokesperson Andrew Allen said.

The network was still continuing to experience some weather-related disruption, although it was an ever-changing situation, he said.

"We're working quite hard on the roading network, we've got crews working 24/7 basically around the clock trying to restore access through all of our roading network."

On Monday evening, about 30 roads were partially or completely closed but that was changing hourly, he said.

"We're down to limited lanes, so while roads may be open, a good example would be Great North Road which has only got two lanes so it's down to half of its capacity.

That could mean longer journey times and people should only travel is they needed to, he said.

"If you do the network's open, plan your trip before you go and allow plenty of time just in case there are delays on your journey."

The Auckland Harbour Bridge was still at risk of closure as there was a strong wind watch in place for Tuesday, he said. That meant if the wind got over a certain threshold speed restrictions could be put in place or the bridge may even have to be closed.

People should check the AT website for the latest information, he said.

Freight still moving despite flood-damaged roads

National Road Carriers Association chief executive Justin Tighe-Umbers said it was amazing how quickly major chunks of the roading network disappeared, particularly on Friday night.

"Obviously that's a huge impact to those keeping our freight and supply chain open on the roads."

It meant truck drivers and dispatchers had to react at a moment's notice when detours were put in place, he said.

"So for drivers out there on the roads that can mean having to do major detours, you know 20 or 30km, that can see them run out of hours, they need more fuel and then they may even need to go into smaller trucks if some of the roads are unable to handle larger trucks."

Ultimately those costs will end up flowing onto consumers, he said.

The association is hearing from its members that insurance is getting increasingly expensive and the damaged roads end up damaging the trucks, he said.

A damaged truck can also take a driver off the road meaning they cannot earn while they are waiting to have it repaired, he said.

"Amazingly we don't have any major settlements that have been cut off, so the freight and supply chain is still working, so there are having to be detours and sometimes detours on detours."

But people should not panic buy because the goods were getting through, he said.

However, in some places in Coromandel places were down to one road in and one road out and if those routes go due to more wet weather, then "we could be in trouble", he said.

Tighe-Umbers would like to see a 50 year roading infrastructure plan put in place to build in network resilience and ensure that roading maintenance is done.

Because of the red level weather warnings issued for Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula, the National Emergency Management Agency has posted advice on how to keep safe:

  • Red weather warnings are the most severe warnings. The forecast weather could cause further flooding, slips and damage
  • People should stay up to date with the forecasts from MetService and continue to follow the advice of civil defence and emergency services
  • If you have evacuated, please stay where you are until you are given the all-clear to go home.
  • Stay away from floodwater. Always assume that all flood water is potentially contaminated and ensure hands, clothes and property are thoroughly cleaned after contact with flood waters
  • It is important to clean and dry your house and everything in it. Do not eat garden produce if the soil has been flooded
  • Throw away all food and drinking water that has come in contact with floodwater, including things stored in containers
  • Information about where to get help can be found on the Civil Defence website and from Auckland Emergency Management

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