Tickets to walk through the Waterview Tunnel have been snapped up in hours but many locals who have put up with years of construction in their backyard have missed out.

Yesterday the Transport Minister Simon Bridges announced the delayed mid-winter opening for the $1.4 billion Western Ring Route would finally happen early next month.

But before traffic starts flowing on the motorway connection the public was given a chance to go into the giant 2.4km tunnel over the next two Sundays.

More than 40,000 free tickets were offered online alongside yesterday's announcement to walk a section of the tunnel or cycle the entire length.


Demand for tickets to the June 18 and 25 open days was high and they were snapped up in hours.

A small number had been reserved for residents living around Hendon Ave.

But some local residents who have endured gas leaks, construction noise and pollution and traffic disruptions for years are crying foul after missing out in yesterday's ticket rush.

Auckland councillor and Mt Albert resident Cathy Casey today said the Well-Connected Alliance needed to consider doing something special for all those living closest to the development.

Casey had left a message asking that the New Zealand Transport Agency consider having an open day just for affected residents.

She said she was aware through Facebook a number of locals who wanted to go through the development had missed out.

"The tickets ran out really early and I think it's incumbent on the Well-Connected Alliance to say thank you to the locals.

"We're the people who put up with them for the last number of years and I'm hoping and I've asked them to consider a special event, a special walk-through time, a special bike-through time, for locals.


"I know from Facebook a number of locals have missed out but hey, don't forget about us, we're the ones who've put up with you for years."

According to some residents who posted on the local Mt Albert Facebook community page bike tickets disappeared within a minute. Others were annoyed the community had endured an on-going traffic nightmare and even an environmental hazard that stopped people from getting into their homes.

"All gone now. All those cones we put up with, the gas leak and can't walk through," posted Jane Coughlan.

In the meantime people are turning to social media for spare tickets.

Alexandra Parkinson, whose property borders the motorway and was looking forward to going through the tunnel, today made a desperate plea on the community Facebook page for a ticket.

She said she had only learned of the free tickets today and felt desperately sad she would miss out. Fortunately someone came to her aid. However, others have been left out of luck including one mum who did not think her toddler would need a ticket.