Ladies Mile: Queenstown mayor vows traffic solutions

Lakes Hayes Estate resident Justin Ralston, at Shotover Primary School, questions if the proposed...
Lakes Hayes Estate resident Justin Ralston, at Shotover Primary School, questions if the proposed park and ride in the draft Queenstown Ladies Mile master plan is big enough to effectively tackle traffic problems. PHOTO: MATTHEW MCKEW
A personal pledge has been given by the Queenstown Lakes Mayor that no development will go ahead at Ladies Mile without traffic problems being solved.

Jim Boult was addressing just over 100 residents at Shotover Primary School last night, at a meeting organised by the Lake Hayes Estate and Shotover Country Community Association.

‘‘I will not support any further development in this area until there is a suitable and logical transport plan that deals with the congestion on Ladies Mile,’’ Mr Boult said

The meeting was called to discuss Queenstown Lakes District Council’s draft master plan for Ladies Mile, which included plans for medium to high density housing, a possible school, playing fields and commercial activity.

But, while Mr Boult gave an assurance to those in the room over long tailbacks at the Shotover Bridge, council chief executive Mike Theelan sounded less positive.

He said the funding model for the NZ Transport Agency meant there could never be a ‘‘nirvana’’ for residents, as there was not the capital or willingness to invest in projects that did not see a quick return.

However, council officers Tony Avery and Tony Pickard said the aim was to increase travel choices, through cycle routes, park and ride, buses and more.

One person said it was infeasible to expect tradesmen to take the bus and the association chairwoman Anita Golden said families often drove because they needed to make several stops.

Lakes Hayes Estate resident Justin Ralston raised the issue of the park and ride proposal along the southern stretch of Ladies Mile, questioning whether it would be big enough to cater for increasing traffic coming from Wanaka and Cromwell, where house prices were cheaper.

Aside from traffic complaints, residents were concerned by the medium to high-density housing in the master plan.

Mr Avery said this was an attempt to stop urban sprawl, by meeting community housing needs in an area already attracting interest from developers.

Mr Boult said neither Lake Hayes Estate or Shotover Country existed when he first moved to the area, yet had proved to be successes.

‘‘Things change. Lots of landowners round here want to develop ... if we don’t have a master plan there is a fair old chance landowners will simply go to the Environment Court and get what they want.’’

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