Park and ride?: The unused site by the Shotover Bridge


The last time Greg Thompson had a ‘light bulb moment’, it turned into a multi-million-dollar
roading project that fixed the dangerous Tucker Beach Road-State Highway 6 intersection.

Now the energetic Quail Rise resident’s made a submission to Queenstown council’s 10-year plan on his latest idea — a park-and-ride site near the same intersection.

Thompson says the slip road project resulted in a site just to the north of the Shotover Bridge that he believes would be ideal as a small park-and-ride area.

Already being used informally as a car park, the ‘‘neglected and unused’’ area has a bus shelter and space for up to 50 vehicles.

Vitally, the site’s doesn’t have residential neighbours, Thompson says.

‘‘Every time the council tries to do a park-and-ride, nobody wants to have it near their place.’’

Council spokesman Jack Barlow says it welcomes ideas for improving connections to public transport, but the site proposed by Thompson, and another on Spence Road on the other side of the river, have been ruled out be cause they’re ‘‘within a congested area’’.

‘‘Driving to an area that’s already subject to heavy congestion defeats the purpose.’’

A recent study of park-and-ride options across the Whakatipu Basin found there isn’t a strong case ‘‘any closer than east of Ladies Mile’’, Barlow says.

A park-and-ride facility would have to pick up regional traffic before it entered congested areas, and needs several hundred spaces to be viable, he says.

In 2014, Thompson started a lobbying campaign for a slip road at the intersection with a letter to NZ Transport Agency and an article in Mountain Scene.

The $6.4 million project was opened two years ago.