Ten biggest mistakes in the history of transport in Auckland

From Survival to Revival - Auckland's public transport since 1860. Graham W A Bush, 2014

Launch of book From Revival to Survival: Auckland’s Public Transport since 1860, by Graham W A Bush, 2014

  • Unavoidable element of being wise after the event
  • This is what gives historians justification for their trade
  • Admittedly subjective – other failures identifiable and some may even think should be classed as a success rather than a failure
  • Arguably biggest because of transport implications is unchecked urban sprawl


  1. Failure to construct an underground CBD rail loop from Britomart to Beach Road
  2. Shifting of central rail station from Britomart to Beach Road
  3. Adoption of Master Transportation Plan (1955)
  4. Rundown and closure of the tram system (1949-56)
  5. Construction ‘bare bones’ austerity of Harbour Bridge (1954-59)
  6. Near total abandonment of the ferry system (1959)
  7. Progressive closure of the trolley bus system (1970-80)
  8. Failure to build Robbie’s rapid rail (1975)
  9. Rundown and almost closure of suburban railway network (1970-2000)
  10. Solution to congestion is more roads (last 50 years)

And for good measure

11. Failure to provide EFFECTIVE transport PLANNING machinery for almost 150 years.