A huge amount of work has been done over the past year and will continue this year to make sure Auckland transport is ready for the Rugby World Cup 2011- "and I have total confidence we will be ready and able to provide a first class service for visitors and get maximum benefit from hosting the event," said Auckland Chamber of Commerce CEO Michael Barnett.
Mr Barnett, who is planning co-ordinator for Auckland's RWC arrangements, was commenting on a Wellington report today that Auckland is not ready to cope with the more than 60,000 overseas visitors expected to flood the city for the 2011 RWC.
"It is a shame that a Wellington media organisation used an outdated report written in the middle of last year without covering the huge progress made since it was prepared," he said.
We know how many people we need to move, when we need to move them and how we will move them. It will be rail, bus, coach, and walking opportunities.
The region is working together, with a high-level of co-ordination across Councils, ARTA and other transport agencies.
He suggested that media take a look at the area surrounding Eden Park to see the recent progress, including: Roading upgrades - Sandringham Road being realigned Railway station upgrades - Morningside and Kingsland New pedestrian links to public transport being built - The 'Link Lane' connecting Sandringham to Walters Road
"It's all happening now to make sure we are ready to welcome the crowds and give them an awesome Auckland experience at Rugby World Cup matches."
Auckland City had allocated around $25 million to upgrade the Eden Park precinct, he noted: $14 million: to realign and upgrade Sandringham Rd for public transport access $4 million on the link lane to provide pedestrians great access to walking routes and public transport $7 million on a wide range of other upgrades in the area - footpaths, roads, CCTV cameras, streetscapes - so our visitors do have a great experience when they come to World Cup matches.
The Council is spending a further $30m on preparing the broader city for Rugby World Cup
This is one occasion when failure is not an option. There are international experts who have been brought to Auckland and are working full time on transport planning for this event so that we get it right - "and we will," stressed Mr Barnett.
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