QLDC seek endorsement for transport programme

Press Release – Queenstown Lakes District Council

This week Queenstown Lakes District Council will consider a new multi-agency transport programme. The Queenstown Integrated transport Strategy (QITS) is a programme of transport projects partnering with New Zealand Transport Agency, Otago Regional Council …QLDC seek endorsement for transport programme

This week Queenstown Lakes District Council will consider a new multi-agency transport programme. The Queenstown Integrated transport Strategy (QITS) is a programme of transport projects partnering with New Zealand Transport Agency, Otago Regional Council and Queenstown Airport Corporation.

The aim of the programme is to improve the Queenstown transport network, thereby enhancing both liveability for residents and the visitor experience. One aspect of the programme is to reduce congestion and encourage greater use of public transport and active travel methods such as cycling and walking as the preferred travel choice.

QLDC Councillor Alexa Forbes says the community needed to be attentive to the coming changes before finding themselves affected. “This is a critical opportunity for commuters to rethink their transport options. Alongside the obvious benefits for the environment by reducing private car use and carbon emissions, there’s also a great economic benefit for people making the move to public transport. The $2 bus ride will be a significant cost saving when compared to combined car fuel and parking charges,” said Ms Forbes.

Three major components of this shift are parking fees changes and the establishment of a Transport Improvements Fund (TIF), identification and installation of new or amended public transport bus stops, and a consolidation of Queenstown CBD parking restrictions. Aligned with the introduction of the $2 bus fare, the improved service requires new stops along the revised routes.

Ms Forbes says, “QLDC wants people to get on board, quite literally, with the improved bus service and other more cost-effective schemes such as car-pooling, cycling and walking. As commuters and visitors increasingly use the bus service providers will continue to improve frequency and routes to make it the obvious choice for the majority.”

QLDC has shown its commitment and leadership to this shift in people’s transport plans by financially supporting the early phase of its introduction through proposed increases in parking charges.

“Reality check, you cannot provide an affordable and heavily subsidised bus transport system and at the same time provide cheap or free parking options. It is seriously time to change how we travel and park.”

If approved, the changes to parking charges and availability will be phased in from mid-November through to March 2018. The first phase will increase the rates to between $1 and $4 per hour, site dependent, in Council-owned car parks, and phase two will remove daily and weekly payment options. Alongside these changes, parking will no longer be allowed on road verges, nor will there be free all day parking in areas like the Queenstown Gardens and One Mile car parks.

“We plan to give fair warning through targeted messaging and adopting the proposed changes this week is the beginning of a clear signal.”

Details of the new and updated bus routes and schedules will be published in the next few weeks to enable commuters to begin planning their new journey.
ENDS

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