Queenstown Airport’s new park and ride will have an extra 150 carpark spaces to ease traffic woes.
The airport company – majority-owned by the local council – has applied for consent from City Hall for the service and hopes it will be up and running by April.
Boss Colin Keel says pressure points in and around the airport are obvious.
Queues and tailbacks are common from the BP roundabout and parked cars line Kawarau Road.
The new carpark on Brookes Rd, behind Mega Mitre 10 and Pak’nSave, will offer a shuttle service every 20 minutes to and from the terminal.
Keel won’t talk fees but says it’ll be cheaper than parking rates beside the airport.
Introductory specials are proposed and other “clever things” to entice locals.
It’ll be keeping a close eye during the 12-month trial.
If people aren’t using it, the airport will consider ways to get more people on board.
Keel knows there will be those who don’t want to pay for parking.
“We are hoping they [customers] will utilise this and there are ways we are going about designing it to hopefully make it attractive.”
Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay launched a petition in November calling for highways manager NZ Transport Agency to ban cars parking along the stretch of road beside the airport.
Keel says it is important locals don’t simply start parking in nearby residential areas.
City Hall’s looking into this but no firm plans are in place.
In an emailed statement, council infrastructure boss Peter Hansby says: “How this is going to be achieved is part of a wider piece of work that is currently underway.
“But at this stage it is too early to say with certainty what the specifics of the plan will be.
“Rest assured that we are looking into this and will have a solution in place before parking is prohibited along the affected stretch of SH6.”
In a statement, agency southern boss Ian Duncan says it’s working with the airport company and the council.
“Once this is done, we will help co-ordinate work on and around State Highway 6, as no-stopping lines are installed.”
The park and ride is part of a bigger carpark.
Another 150 slots will cover Glenda Drive spaces while they’re out of action during the construction of the eastern access road.
Keel says park and riders will have to prove they’ve paid.