12 Sep 2011

RWC transport delay register open

6:50 pm on 12 September 2011

Fans who missed part or all of the opening Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park in Auckland due to public transport delays can now register their details for possible compensation.

Trains and buses to the venue were delayed, and ferry services stopped altogether when Queens Wharf in the central city became overcrowded.

Auckland Council says it doesn't yet have detailed numbers on how many fans were late for or missed Friday night's match between the All Blacks and Tonga.

The information gathered in the register will help Auckland Council decide whether to compensate ticket-holders.

People with unredeemed tickets can register on Auckland Transport's website www.aucklandtransport.govt.nz or by calling 0800 301 011.

Train delays investigated

Auckland Council met behind closed doors on Monday to discuss what caused thousands of rail travellers to be delayed on their way to the celebrations and to the Eden Park.

Several crowded trains were delayed mid-journey by up to an hour, and the council has an initial report on what went wrong.

Mayor Len Brown says nothing will be said until a final report due late on Tuesday has been considered.

Mr Brown says it's not yet appropriate to say whether the region's contract with the French-owned rail operator could make the company liable for penalties.

Veolia says it was never asked to put on extra trains to take people into the central city for the celebration.

Managing director Graham Siberry says they were told to work to estimates of 50,000 people heading into the city.

But he says that number was closer to 200,000.

The Auckland Council report will focus on the rail problems but will also cover problems encountered when up to 200,000 people gathered on Auckland's waterfront.

Mr Brown is confident that this weekend's Eden Park clash between Australia and Ireland will be less challenging for public transport than the opening night.

Government keeping in touch

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister John Key has apologised for the transport problems that plagued some rugby fans night on Friday.

He says the Government is keeping in close touch with Auckland officials on the matter.