Transport strategy adopted despite concerns


Parking in Queenstown is set to become more expensive from December as the council tries to encourage other forms of transport.

Queenstown Lakes District Council adopted the new Queenstown Town Centre Transport Strategy at a full council meeting in Wanaka yesterday.

Councillors were quick to point out the changes had caused some “angst” among residents but  they were just one step in improving the liveability and visitor experience of the town.

The changes will be phased in from December 4.

Some motorists who work and park in the resort will pay $40 a day to park in a council-owned car park as of February.

Free all-day parking at the One Mile roundabout and in the Queenstown Gardens will also be removed.

Mayor Jim Boult says he’s been approached by people who lived outside but commuted into the town, who had major concerns about the changes.

“I’ve had some angst from people who commute from Cromwell and are worried about how much it is going to cost them to park in the town.”

Boult says the council might need to look at a park and ride service in Frankton to accommodate people who commute from outside the resort.

Councillor John MacDonald says the concern was caused by people not knowing exactly what the public transport alternatives will look like.

The council’s property and infrastructure boss, Peter Hansby, says the Otago Regional Council was slower than the district council would like in announcing its bus schedule.

Hansby says he hoped the council would be able to work with the ORC to speed that process up.

An amendment to the strategy was also adopted at the meeting yesterday.

Concerns were raised by Downtown Queenstown boss Steve Wilde about the impact the proposed bus stops in Camp Street would have on retailers.

“Imagine it from the point of view of a retailer. Buses would be coming through there almost constantly,” he said.

Mr Wilde asked the councillors to consider Athol St as another option for bus parking.

After listening to those concerns council infrastructure principal Tony Pickard says the council had decided to introduce an amendment so the position of the four bus stops in Camp St between Shotover and Ballarat Sts, could be considered.

The council will also investigate Athol St as an alternative.

The 30-minute parking in Church St between 8am and 6pm would remain as a solution to evening parking in the town centre, Mr Wilde said.

• The Queenstown Integrated Transport Strategy was also adopted as the region’s main transport strategy at the council meeting yesterday.

The strategy combines several existing transport projects in Queenstown being undertaken by both national and local bodies including the Queenstown Airport Corporation, NZ Transport Agency and the Otago Regional Council.

QLDC infrastructure principal Tony Pickard says the strategy will attract up to $400million of funding to the region, of which the council is required to  contribute only between $116million and $168million.

“It must be recognised this is a significant contribution to the local economy and enables Queenstown to deal with its transport issues in an efficient, agile and robust way.”

Parking changes

• Town centre parking increases of between $1 and $4 an hour

• Permit parking to be removed

• Free all-day parking to be removed

• Parking banned on road verges

• Introduction of $2 bus fares

• A new pay and display parking area

Tim Miller – Otago Daily Times