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Park and Ride
About the project
In August 2020 and February 2021, we asked the community to consider options for Wakatipu Park and Ride Facilities. We proposed a 206-space facility at 516 Ladies Mile, where locals can park their car for the day and travel into town on the bus.
There were a number of reasons for considering Park and Ride facilities that benefit the whole community:
It is a cost-effective way of improving access to public transport for locals, particularly for those living outside a walkable distance of a bus stop.
Park and ride is a cost-effective way of providing access to public transport for regional travellers
By providing parking out of the town centre it reduces pressure on central parking
More people on public transport, means fewer cars on the roads and less congestion
Park and Ride was also found to be more cost-effective than alternatives such as improvements to the local bus network or providing regional public transport, because it optimises existing bus capacity and infrastructure.
What’s the latest?
We have considered all the feedback received during community consultation, along with technical information to finalise the Wakatipu Park and Ride Business Case.
While it was found that Park and Ride facilities would be a good addition to the transport system in Queenstown, project partners agreed that implementation should be delayed for the following reasons:
The location. The feedback showed that the majority of the respondents perceive Park and Ride as lower value than alternative uses of the 516 Ladies Mile site, such as sports fields. However, survey results also showed that a segment of the community is supportive if it can be implemented in a manner that better suits community needs. Perceptions towards Park and Ride may also shift following construction of bus lanes along Ladies Mile, priority bus measures on State Highway 6a and improvements to the BP roundabout intersection at Frankton, and as traffic growth and congestion returns to pre-Covid levels.
Data. The preferred option was determined using transport models developed for the Wakatipu Basin, and available census statistics and local data. Park and Ride targets a small segment of the market and as such, needs fine grained and detailed datasets to validate models. A data improvement programme for Queenstown is to be implemented to better understand how, where and when locals and visitors travel. This will help confirm whether Park and Ride is an appropriate solution.
Timing. The facility cannot be implemented until completion of the Howards Drive intersection upgrade and Ladies Mile bus lane, both scheduled for mid-2024through the Government’s New Zealand Upgrade Programme. A programme of Travel Demand Management measures, intended to reduce the need to travel by car, and improvements in the Queenstown Town Centre are also proposed, which may enhance or negate the need for Park and Ride facilities.
Ladies Mile uncertainty. Council is in the process of determining the Ladies Mile Masterplan which could see a huge increase in number of households, or very little increase at all. These scenarios present vastly different outcomes for the preferred Park and Ride option. Competing demands for land at 516 Ladies Mile are also being considered through the Masterplan process.
General growth uncertainty. Population, visitor and traffic growth is difficult to accurately project at the best of times and Covid-19 has added another layer of complexity. While the Park and Ride project has identified a timeline for implementation, it is a best-guess, and delaying the project will allow more certainty once the Covid-19 recovery is better understood.
Background and community engagement information <link to: https://letstalk.qldc.govt.nz/wakatipu-park-and-ride-facilities>