Fears of more gridlocks in Wanaka

Traffic trying to get out of Wanaka  at a standstill at the Ardmore St roundabout. Photo: Kerrie...
Traffic trying to get out of Wanaka at a standstill at the Ardmore St roundabout. Photo: Kerrie Waterworth
Wanaka motorists experienced a "perfect storm" in more ways than one on Saturday morning when the town became gridlocked during a heavy downpour.

There are fears the gridlock could be " a sign of things to come".

Tempers flared on Saturday as traffic ground to a halt along Brownston  and Ardmore Sts, and past the roundabout heading towards  State Highway 8A.

Queenstown Lakes District deputy mayor Calum MacLeod had a theory on  how the issue arose.

Calum MacLeod
Calum MacLeod
"The problem on Saturday was that you had untrained people with stop-go signs who were Challenge Wanaka volunteers and doing a marvellous job, plus you had cyclists who had priority over traffic and you also had a huge number of strangers who didn’t know where they were going in town, which made for a perfect storm.

"That is why we ended up with gridlock, but literally 10  minutes later, the traffic was flowing freely," he said.

Traffic congestion and parking are perennial issues in Wanaka and with the town’s predicted  growth there are fears Saturday’s gridlock could be repeated.

"I totally agree it was a sign of things to come and that is why the council is developing a long-term transport strategy ... but in the short term we are looking at a number of options, such as park and ride," Cr MacLeod said.

He said park and ride had proved  successful at the last A&P show and with the Motatapu Race, the A&P show and the  national rodeo finals  all on the same weekend on March 9, 10 and 11, he expected the take-up to be even better.



I call bs on the 10 minutes before traffic was flowing, was Mr McLeod in town at the round-about? I'm a local resident and got stuck for longer, (over 20 mins). If I hadn't really needed to go to the supermarket i would never have gone to town. That won't happen next year. It would have been less frustrating to go to Cromwell which I will be doing each week from now on. Sick of tourist traffic and driving around three or more times to try getting a supermarket park, and not being able to take advantage of our nice lake cause you can't get to park for the camper vans. I go to walk at Lake Dunston now, then spend my money in a Cromwell cafe for lunch cause Wanaka's cafe's and parks are over-run by visitors. Park and ride doesn't work for everyone. Maybe next year's event may have experienced "stop & go" operators? Regardless, I'm totally over trying to get business done in Wanaka at peak times, or any time lately, and will travel to Cromwell for my needs. Grumpy local.....