Centre safe from parking

Top turf: Frankton Golf Centre PICTURE: OTAGO DAILY TIMES

City Hall has no plans to bowl Frankton Golf Centre for parking.

Dispelling rumours where a proposed park-and-ride trial will be based, councillor Alexa Forbes says the council-run facility isn’t being considered.

The green council rep, speaking to Mountain Scene while waiting for a bus, says the council’s still looking into a park-and-ride.

“We want to pull it off. Work is ongoing as fast as our team can manage it but no site has been selected. We are still gathering information.

“There has been heaps of work done at workshops and the infrastructure team are working their butts off to try and make something happen.”

The trial, aimed at improving traffic flows, was revealed last month.

But the Otago Regional Council says “complex issues” must still be worked through.

Undeterred, Forbes says “we are going to try and do it anyway”.

It’s hoping to tap into government coffers by getting the New Zealand Transport Agency on board.

Existing budgets can also be tinkered with.

“There are a few ways around funding. There is existing money in transport funding – there is potential to bring stuff from parking meters as envisaged in the parking plan.”

It isn’t the only conundrum facing council. With queues now a Queenstown norm, council bosses are under the cosh to solve roading issues.

Boss Mike Theelen says the eastern access road, aimed at easing traffic congestion in and around Frankton, has finally got the nod from the agency.

In May the Otago Daily Times reported delays to the proposal due to an incomplete business case.

Theelen: “It was subject to a number of reviews along the way to ensure that when it was submitted it was the best case possible. The intended programme is to finalise and confirm the designation of the route and let the tender for construction, then implement the physical works.”

Construction will start “as soon as practicable”, after the tender process is complete and depending on weather.

While council has budgeted for the road in its capital works programme, Theelen can’t confirm final costs.

Anything that tips the budget will be picked up in next year’s annual plan, he says.

Theelen expects the road to be open by the end of next year.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges – who promises to fix Queenstown’s traffic mess – said in last week’s Scene there’s a chance the road could be finished earlier.