Traffic lights considered for central Queenstown

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Central Queenstown might get traffic lights to sort out snarl-ups.

The town’s council has been under pressure over its decision to delay, for at least 15 years, the first stage of a traffic bypass for the central town.

Next month the council will consider a draft transport strategy for the town centre.

Chief executive Adam Feeley says replacing roundabouts with traffic lights is an option being considered to create “a more pedestrian-friendly environment”.

“In the past, our community has generally been opposed to this suggestion but consultation over the Inner Links Transport Strategy has shown that those views are changing,” Feeley says in response to a letter to the editor.

“The council can’t force people to stop bringing their cars into Queenstown, but promoting public trans-
port, cycling and walking will all be considered as we look for solutions.”

Feeley says traffic’s always going to be a problem in Queenstown given the geography, the increasing population and visitor numbers plus “our national preference for driving”.

Queenstown council’s transport manager Denis Mander made a submission to plan change 50 – a controversial plan to extend the resort’s town centre.

In it, Mander says a fifth of projected traffic will have to flow into public transport, cycling and walking to put off the planned road work.

The draft strategy’s being developed in cahoots with Otago Regional Council, NZ Transport Agency, Queenstown Chamber of Commerce, Destination Queenstown and bus company Connectabus.