Big upgrades set for 2017
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.’’