‘Don’t take us for a ride’

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Park-and-ride spaces cost as much as $4k a pop and make traffic worse.

That’s the evidence-backed view of some Frankton residents who are mobilising against plans to build a park-and-ride terminal in the Queenstown suburb.

Frankton Community Association’s (FCA) submission on Queenstown council’s proposed district plan is due to be heard by commissioners next Thursday.

It calls for the public to be able to have their say on each facility, rather than them being approved “without proper scrutiny”.

The council’s objectives for its proposed transport plan include reducing congestion in the CBD, encouraging more people to walk or cycle and reducing traffic to help address the impact of climate change.

But the submission says it will have the “perverse effect of doing the exact opposite” of what the council wants.

FCA chairman Glyn Lewers says: “Our main concern here is it seems that the planners have assumed that PnR reduces traffic and encourages public transport use.

“All the research indicates the PnR option results in very marginal, temporary improvements to these two goals and in the majority of cases it actually increases traffic and reduces public transport use, as well as discouraging active mode travel.”

Lewers points out a recent survey of more than 10,000 public transport users by Auckland Transport, which shows park-and-ride schemes came in 13th place out of 16 initiatives mooted to get more people using public transport.

He says the FCA would rather see ratepayers’ money spent on improving public transport rather than the “high cost” of park-and-ride initiatives.

The submission highlights the fact $1.3 million was needed to set up a 300-space park-and-ride at Queenstown Airport – roughly $4333 per space.

In a 2016 survey by council, almost half preferred Frankton as the location for a park-and-ride facility, with just over a third opting for Five Mile/Grant Road.

joshua.walton@scene.co.nz