Wet weather expected to hinder commuter traffic during Auckland's bus strike

Wet weather is expected to further disrupt commuter traffic, as buses strike in Auckland on Friday.
JASON DORDAY/FAIRFAX NZ

Wet weather is expected to further disrupt commuter traffic, as buses strike in Auckland on Friday.

Morning rain, combined with extra cars on Auckland roads, may not result in the best commute to work on Friday.

With more than 1000 bus drivers across Auckland striking on Friday, Auckland roads at rush hours will likely be severely clogged.

And to make matters worse - for the morning commute at least - the roads will be wet, with rain expected overnight and lasting until about 9am.

"From about 6am it's going to start out wet," Metservice forecaster Lisa Murray said.

"It's a good solid band of rain. You will get wet if you're an early starter."

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The rain band will be moving from west to east across the morning and is expected to have mostly cleared by about 9am. There may be some later showers before things clear up in the afternoon, Murray said.

"The commute home [in the evening] should be better," she said.

More than 1000 NZ Bus drivers and 89 Howick & Eastern drivers are striking as part of union industrial action over wages and conditions for drivers.

NZ Bus services carry about 65 per cent of all bus passengers in Auckland so there's a good chance your morning and evening commute will be disrupted.

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The strike starts at 4am on Friday and finishes at 4am Saturday.

As the roads clog without buses running, and more cars expected on the roads, Auckland Transport has recommended people make alternative arrangements, such as working from home or changing work hours, and catching a train or ferry instead.

But for people for whom that's not an option, carpooling could be another way to alleviate the inevitable motorway gridlock.

"Without the option of getting the bus, it's a great idea to talk to your neighbours or colleagues and make a car-share arrangement," an AT spokesman said.

"Every time someone carpools, it takes another car off the road. It also means the driver can use the T2 lane [carpooling transit lane], which can be an advantage," he said.

And while many buses will be off the roads, there will still be some buses running - which means cars cannot use the bus lanes.

AT staff would be on duty at some busy locations to assist customers with information and advice, while updates will be provided on the AT website, Twitter and on radio and TV traffic bulletins on Friday.

People using public transport can also check on available services by contacting the Auckland Transport call centre on 09 366 6400.

 - Stuff

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