... just not today

The Dominion Post - - Front Page - TOM HUNT AND KATA­RINA WIL­LIAMS

Com­muters have been warned to leave home early and ex­pect big de­lays as Welling­ton’s trains come to a 24-hour halt from 2am today.

Strike ac­tion by rail work­ers means there will be no trains run­ning across the re­gion all day, and sup­port ac­tion by bus driv­ers means there will be no bus re­place­ments ei­ther.

That leaves the roughly 30,000 daily rail com­muters to find other ways into Welling­ton – or stay at home.

Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil has told peo­ple to ex­pect ma­jor de­lays as rail com­muters hit the roads, and has urged them to make al­ter­na­tive ar­range­ments, if pos­si­ble.

Those not need­ing to travel should con­sider stay­ing home, it said.

The strike will dis­rupt not only the cap­i­tal’s work­ers but many high school stu­dents sit­ting their NCEA ex­ams as well.

For some Welling­ton stu­dents it will be the se­cond year of ex­tra pre-exam stress, com­ing a year af­ter the Kaiko¯ura earth­quake and Welling­ton floods made it tough to get to ex­ams on time. Stu­dents have been warned ex­ams will not be can­celled, and they should leave ex­tra time to get to school.

All com­muter trains will be out of ac­tion, and Tramways Union sec­re­tary Kevin O’Sul­li­van, whose union rep­re­sents about 95 per cent of driv­ers be­tween Ka¯piti and Welling­ton, said none of its bus driv­ers would step in to drive train re­place­ment ser­vices.

Bus and train driv­ers were es­sen­tially fight­ing the same bat­tle – to re­tain cur­rent terms and con­di­tions – and O’Sul­li­van warned: ‘‘The buses are go­ing to fol­low suit un­less there is some sort of set­tle­ment.’’

Metlink said it would not pro­vide buses as ‘‘we are not able to source enough buses to trans­port this num­ber of pas­sen­gers’’.

It has al­ready ruled out any re­funds for train pass hold­ers.

Welling­ton City Coun­cil has warned driv­ers that park­ing will be at a pre­mium, and has urged com­muters to car-pool if pos­si­ble, and not to drive into the city un­less they have pre-ar­ranged park­ing.

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