9 Sep 2011

Plea to stay away from jam-packed central Auckland

10:52 pm on 9 September 2011

Police are warning Eden Park patrons not to go down to Auckland's waterfront, after big crowds earlier put a heavy strain on the public transport network.

Parts of the city's transport system broke down on Friday as tens of thousands of people tried to move around the city for Rugby World Cup opening events.

Trains, buses and ferries have been delayed since late afternoon, as tens of thousand of people converged on the CBD for the Rugby World Cup opening festivities.

Buses and trains leaving Auckland's transport hub, Britomart, are now running an average of about 10 minutes behind schedule, with some passengers reporting much more extensive delays earlier in the day.

A Britomart spokesperson says extra trains have been scheduled around Eden Park where the All Blacks played the opening match on Friday night to hopefully speed up services.

Ferry services were also halted earlier on Friday, as there was no room to unload passengers. Services are now back to normal, and extra ferries have been put on.

Police are worried about public safety and are suggesting Eden Park patrons should be revise plans to go back into the city.

They say the area is full of revellers, some of whom are less well-behaved than others.

Meanwhile, air traffic controllers are hard at work as hundreds of people fly into New Zealand for the tournament.

Airways New Zealand said the four hours between 2pm and 6pm on Friday are among the busiest in the country's aviation history. Chief executive Ed Sims says traffic has been 20% above average for the day.