Council moves to curb free Queenstown Airport parking

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Motorists could be banned from parking in Frankton for more than 48 hours in a bid to curb airport freeloaders.

Restricting parking time on every street in the suburb is one option going out to public consultation later this month.

Residents have long complained Frankton roads are used as a long-term car park by travellers ducking stiff airport parking charges. 

“We’ve tried to stop it on certain roads and it has shifted onto others,” councillor Lex Perkins says at a Queenstown Lakes District Council meeting today. 

“That includes the State Highway, so it’s also a New Zealand Transport Agency problem now. 

“It’s quite bad and some residents struggle to park near their houses or the church.” 

A survey conducted by council in October found an average of 40 cars parked on Frankton streets for more than a full day. 

At any time there were between 290 and 360 cars parked in the suburb, with 67 per cent for less than half a day and 23 per cent for full days. 

Airport boss Scott Paterson says the airport, which rakes in more than $1.6 million a year through parking charges, has introduced cheaper long-term parking options. 

But Paterson said in December: “I can’t compete with free parking, although I’d suggest ours is more secure.” 

Council transport boss Denis Mander, who submitted the report to today’s infrastructure services committee meeting, says some residents could consider the blanket bans to be “overkill.” 

Other options include more use of no-parking restrictions around intersections and white lines to prevent parking right next to driveways – a move planned for McBride Street – or continued street-by-street controls, effectively the status quo. 

Mander says: “Different options all have their merits so we want to put them out to get detailed feedback. By narrowing down the options too much you tend to get polarised views.”

NZTA is monitoring the consultation with a view to introducing restrictions on State Highway 6 in Frankton.

Consultation will include drop-in sessions in Frankton this month. The consultation will be completed by the end of April.