Shopa­holics ask for a tow


Keen shop­pers in Queen­stown are ask­ing con­trac­tors to tow their ve­hi­cles over icy roads so they can keep shop­ping.

The Re­mark­ables Tow­ing com­pany is one of the busiest in Queen­stown when­ever snow hits, but that does not stop peo­ple ring­ing with inane re­quests.

Owner Dave Tomkin­son said it was not un­com­mon for keen shop­pers who found their cars slid­ing on ice to call for help.

‘‘We’re get­ting jobs when peo­ple are too scared to get down [the hill] but want to drive around town.’’

The com­pany does tow peo­ple to the shops, but only if it is safe to do so.

One Wanaka res­i­dent asked for their car to be towed over the Crown Range so they could go shop­ping in Queen­stown, which the com­pany re­fused to do, he said.

Tomkin­son en­cour­aged driv­ers not to go out if they were con­cerned about icy con­di­tions.

‘‘If you can’t drive down the hill then you should not be on the road.’’

Cars block­ing drive­ways was a ‘‘big­ger is­sue’’ in Queen­stown though, stop­ping some res­i­dents from be­ing able to get to work, he said.

‘‘In the last two weeks we have had 40 calls of peo­ple park­ing in other peo­ple’s drive­ways.

‘‘The town is def­i­nitely ex­pand­ing and this year is worse, there are a lot more peo­ple in this town.’’

Fern­hill and Queen­stown cen­tral were the most prob­lem­atic ar­eas, with those re­spon­si­ble for block­ing drive­ways usu­ally be­ing neigh­bours whose own car parks were full, or un­e­d­u­cated vis­i­tors, Tomkin­son said.

‘‘They park it and bug­ger off for a cou­ple of hours.’’

The com­pany used to re­ceive about five calls a day about ve­hi­cles that should not have been parked in Queen­stown Pri­mary School’s staff car park.

Su­per­mar­kets and shop­ping cen­tres were other com­mon tow­ing lo­ca­tions, with some driv­ers leav­ing their cars be­hind when they went trav­el­ling, Tomkin­son said.

He blamed the lack of free park­ing in Queen­stown and over­pop­u­lated houses for the prob­lem.

‘‘Prices cause a prob­lem be­cause peo­ple here are stretch­ing their fi­nances,’’ he said.

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