Big up­grades set for 2017

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - DASHA KUPRIENKO

Four ma­jor projects on con­ges­tion and trans­port op­tions will be com­plete in 2017, says Queen­stown Lakes Dis­trict Mayor Jim Boult.

The ‘‘big ticket’’ projects in­clude a Queen­stown Air­port park and ride sys­tem, pub­lic trans­port changes, the devel­op­ment of a fi­nal strat­egy for the Kawa­rau Bridge to Five Mile cor­ri­dor and the re­moval of cars parked on State High­way 6.

‘‘It is fan­tas­tic to see the proac­tive and prag­matic ap­proach taken by the QLDC, NZTA, Queen­stown Air­port Cor­po­ra­tion and the Otago Re­gional Coun­cil with re­gard to a wide range of is­sues, and we look for­ward to mak­ing some sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments to Queen­stown’s trans­port sys­tem over the next 12 months and be­yond,’’ Boult said.

As a part of a park and ride, driv­ers will catch a shuf­fle shut­tle to the air­port from Brookes Rd, at Five Mile. Work on the project will start by April to be fin­ished in time for the first stage of the Hawthorne Drive link between Frank­ton Flats and Re­mark­ables Park later in the year.

Queen­stown Air­port chief ex­ec­u­tive Colin Keel said the park and ride ser­vice was aimed at trav­ellers in the re­gion who leave their cars for three or more days

‘‘We’ve been work­ing through var­i­ous op­tions over the last few months and the op­por­tu­nity to work with QLDC is our pre­ferred op­tion.

‘‘The of­fer­ing will pro­vide an af­ford­able, ef­fi­cient and easy-touse ser­vice,’’ he said.

NZTA and the coun­cil were also work­ing to­gether on re­mov­ing the cars be­side SH6 from the BP round­about. The cars parked daily on the side of the road were an eye­sore and a hazard for mo­torists, Boult said.

In terms of pub­lic trans­port, Boult has been push­ing for af­ford­abil­ity, in­creased fre­quency, bet­ter re­li­a­bil­ity and a sim­ple sin­gle fare struc­ture to at­tract pa­tron­age.

The cost of the sys­tem would re­quire ratepay­ers’ sub­sidy, he added.

The scheme is still be­ing worked on, with Otago Re­gional Coun­cil an­nounc­ing ‘‘sig­nif­i­cant changes’’ in the pub­lic trans­port sys­tem in the Wakatipu in the next six months, Boult said.

‘‘Peo­ple need to start think­ing dif­fer­ently about trans­port in the Wakatipu and mov­ing away from the tra­di­tional re­liance on pri­vate cars.’’

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