Boult pushes for bus ramp-up

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Queenstown’s mayor is lobbying for new direct bus services to ease the resort’s traffic woes.

Jim Boult’s hoping the new year will bring new routes, including direct services to Lake Hayes Estate and Arrowtown.

The council’s put in requests with its Otago Regional Council counterparts, who run the resort’s bus service. He says there’s a lot of demand for the services, and thinks they would reduce traffic along Ladies Mile.

“They’re looking at their options to provide those services at the present time, I’m very sure they’re as keen as we are to see additional people riding on the buses. We expect to hear back from them in the short term. But that is something we’ve made plain to them, that we’re very keen to see.”

The need for new services is “absolutely pressing”, Boult says.

Roadworks at the Tucker Beach Road intersection caused significant delays in the latter part of last year, adding up to 40 minutes to travel times from outer suburbs into town.

“Ladies Mile isn’t too bad at the moment with school holidays on, but I strongly suspect that at the end of this month we’ll go back to those enormous queues that we had in the later part of last year,” Boult says.

He says it’s caused by the Quail Rise roading works but the long-term fix is for people to use public transport.

“If we provide the additional services, then we ask the public to use it”.

Otago Regional Council didn’t respond by deadline.