Burger eatery wants wider footpath

Fergburger is offering to cover the cost of widening the footpath to ease congestion outside its Queenstown premises.  Photo by Guy Williams.
Fergburger is offering to cover the cost of widening the footpath to ease congestion outside its Queenstown premises. Photo by Guy Williams.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council should turn down Fergburger's request to widen the footpath outside its premises to ease congestion, the resort's chamber of commerce says.

The council is considering an offer by the Shotover St business to meet the costs of the project up to $100,000.

A report prepared for the council's meeting tomorrow states the eatery's popularity meant the footpath became blocked by people queuing or waiting for orders, or just stopping to look or take a photo.

At peak times, people sat in the gutters or spilled between parked cars, and pedestrians were often forced to walk on the road, creating ''frustrations and safety issues for locals and visitors''.

Fergburger wants to widen the footpath by removing three car parks.

The space would be divided into two ''lanes'' separated by seating.

Steel barriers along the kerb would prevent people stepping on to the road.

At the council's request, Fergburger provided 25 written approvals from surrounding businesses and landlords.

Queenstown Chamber of Commerce chief executive Ann Lockhart said although it had sympathy for Fergburger, it was concerned about the ''piecemeal'' loss of CBD car parks.

Parking and traffic had been identified as a major CBD concern, she said.

Removing car parks had a cumulative effect.

Despite Fergburger's strong case, the council had to consider the broader picture.

In February, the travel section of CNN online praised Fergburger for serving ''the best burger in the world''.

The article stated that just like checking out the Eiffel Tower in Paris, ''Ferg's has become the compulsory stop in Queenstown''.

Customers spoken to by the Otago Daily Times indicated strong support for the proposal.