Park-and-ride studied

This Athol St bus-stop sign in central Queenstown might become a thing of the past if the council...
This Athol St bus-stop sign in central Queenstown might become a thing of the past if the council adopts park-and-ride services for the resort. Photo by Naeem Alvi.
Park-and-ride facilities to cater for high-profile events and Frankton flats residents in Queenstown are "being considered", the council says.

Following a suggestion from a Queenstown Times reader to set up a park-and-ride system in town, Queenstown Lakes District Council transportation planning manager Denis Mander said the council was looking at ways to provide such services.

He said one option being considered, was a park-and-ride system for big events at the Queenstown Events Centre.

However, concerns about whether peak traffic would hinder the system needed to be addressed.

The Otago Regional Council contracts Queenstown bus operator Connectabus to provide public bus services to areas outside the main road network.

ORC support services manager Gerard Collings said he did not fully support the proposal, as park-and-ride services might further reduce the number of bus users in "satellite" areas, which they were hopeful would increase in coming months.

Mr Mander said the ORC had looked at the issue of public transport closely, and decided to adopt an approach favouring Connectabus services.

Over time, he said, an increase in commuters could see an "informal" park-and-ride system start to grow, with workers driving a short distance from satellite areas to catch a bus to the town centre.

"I would say we're a district where you've got small towns surrounding the area and you're never going to get a bus service which reaches everyone," he said.

He said the town's parking system was something to look at when setting up such a system, but issues such as increased bus frequency, town parking access and how easy it might be to travel along Frankton Rd, would also be important factors to consider.

"Park and ride was considered as part of the Wakatipu Transport strategy.

"That strategy did support the notion of park-and-ride services in Queenstown, particularly in the Frankton flats area."



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