Friday, 16th December, 2016

Queenstown Lakes District Council is reminding road users to expect significantly higher levels of traffic over the summer holiday period.

Traffic snarl ups and delays are a common occurrence during the peak holiday period and this summer is shaping up to be even busier, with some traffic counts up already 15% on last year.

QLDC is working with the New Zealand Transport Agency and the New Zealand police to help traffic flow as smoothly as possible, but people should expect delays.

We are opening up several reserves in Queenstown and Wanaka for overflow parking to help ease the congestion in the town centres. In Queenstown, Warren Park by the high school will be open for daytime parking for approximately 150 cars, and another 40 parks with a 4 hour limit will be made available at the Queenstown Primary School. In Wanaka there will be temporary parking provided at the Wanaka Showground. All of the temporary parking will be free of charge.

NZTA will be using electronic signage to advise motorists of the alternate Malaghans Road route into town to take the pressure off Frankton Road. They will also be using permanent electronic signage in the Kawarau Gorge to advise of any traffic issues. NZTA’s Wellington Transport Operations Centre will be actively managing the traffic lights on the Kawarau Bridge, and both sets of lights on Stanley Street to help the flow of traffic.

QLDC will have traffic management personnel on standby to help manage the pedestrian crossings on Shotover Street if the need arises, as well as any other pinch points on the QLDC roading network.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult asks that people take time to plan their journeys around the district over this busy period. “We’re all aware of how busy it gets over the Christmas break and how frustrating it can be. Please be sensible about when and where you travel by car, often at this time of year it’s significantly faster to take a bike or walk if possible. If you need to get to the airport for a flight, please give yourself plenty of time to get there as this stretch of road gets notoriously busy.”

“Delays are inevitable, there’s no denying that, but with a bit of foresight you can avoid the worst of it. It’s worth remembering that all of these visitors are coming here to enjoy the amazing place we get to call home.”

“We’re working with our partners at NZTA and the police to ease the strain over the next few weeks. There are a number of big projects underway that will have a significant impact on traffic over the next twelve months, but until then please use an equal measure of patience and good humour.”

NZTA has four live traffic cameras that drivers can use to make travel arrangements to avoid congestion, either by delaying their departure, or taking an alternate route. They can be accessed at www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic. QLDC will post any significant traffic update on their Facebook page - facebook.com/QLDCinfo/