New taxi-service permits proposed

New permits may be introduced for taxis and other small passenger service vehicles and, in some cases, residents in the Queenstown Lakes District.

Should the council adopt the Traffic and Parking 2018 Bylaw Statement of Proposal at its meeting in Wanaka today, it will go out for public consultation.

Several key changes are proposed, including the new measures for taxis and small passenger vehicle services.

In her report to the council, acting asset planning manager Polly Lambert said the existing bylaw addressed taxis, but national legislation that came into effect last year removed many of the distinctions between taxis and other small passenger service vehicles.

The changes essentially deregulated the industry and meant anyone with a P-endorsement and a small and/or large passenger service licence could carry passengers in vehicles without signage.

The report said that had led to an increase in the number of vehicles operating as passenger services and competition for space, particularly in the Queenstown central business district.

A new clause enabling the council to implement a ''permitting system'' for small passenger service vehicles was proposed to help ''control numbers and access to standing locations across the district''.

''The permitting system can also be applied to any class of vehicle in the event an issue arises that a permit is considered an appropriate response.''

The amended bylaw also proposed the introduction of ''residents' parking areas or zones'' where the demand for on-street parking was conflicting with residents' needs.

The Otago Daily Times has previously reported Frankton residents, in particular, have been affected as a result of Queenstown's new bus system and increased parking restrictions in the CBD, which meant more people were parking at Frankton, close to the bus hub.

Council communications adviser Lu Morris said because public consultation had not started, there was ''no certainty'' on the outcome of any proposed permits, or how they would work.


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