Disruption to Hutt Valley and Wairarapa train lines will continue this week

24 June 2013 2:02PM

KiwiRail and Greater Wellington Regional Council is reminding Hutt Valley and Wairarapa train line commuters to prepare and plan for significant delays when travelling home this evening and over the coming days.

“We are doing our very best to get people to their destinations as quickly as possible.  We have as many buses as we can get but the traffic congestion means it will take longer than usual for the buses to shuttle between Petone and Wellington,” says Tranz Metro Manager Scott Brooks.

“It would really help if people could stagger their travel, by either leaving home or work earlier than usual or delaying their travel to outside of peak times.  This would help to ease the congestion at our stations and on the roads.”

Significant damage to rail tracks in Petone during last week’s storm mean train services between Petone and Wellington are bus replaced until further notice.  Hutt Valley, Melling and Wairarapa services are all affected.

“A special half hourly timetable will run on the Hutt Valley Line with trains running between Upper Hutt and Petone until further notice. The Wairarapa line will also be affected and some services will be cancelled and some will be bus replaced,” Tranz Metro Manager Scott Brooks.

KiwiRail and Greater Wellington Regional Council are working with NZ Police, New Zealand Transport Agency and Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office in an effort to minimise the disruption to commuters.  NZ Police Hutt Valley Area Commander Mike Hill is urging commuters to consider carpooling if they decide to travel by car into Wellington City.

“The congestion we experienced this morning is likely to continue this week so commuters should leave plenty of time to get to their destination, drive to the conditions and be patient. If travel is urgent, it might be wise to look at alternative means of transport or leave much earlier than you usually would. If you can carpool with others, this is a good way to ease traffic congestion,” Inspector Hill says.

Melanie Thornton, Greater Wellington Regional Council's Sustainable Transport Manager, is also urging motorists to join the Council's carpooling scheme immediately and keep Wellington moving. 

"Let's Carpool is a secure website - it's the easiest and safest way of ride sharing, and is ideal for an event such as this week. You may well find someone who is making virtually the exact same commute as you. If we can reduce the number of cars on the road this week, it will help enormously.

"Just go into www.letscarpool.govt.nz, key in where your journey starts and ends and see if others are making a similar commute. By registering your commute at the Let's Carpool website, it's then possible to contact other registered carpoolers in your area," Ms Thornton says.

Tranz Metro has put a special timetable for the Hutt Valley Line and the Wairarapa Line on their website and is urging customers to check the website before they travel at www.tranzmetro.co.nz.