Monday, June 20, 2011

Tourist town seeks bus priority priority in regional strategy, Government funded

Tranzwatching in Queenstown, Te Wai Pounamu, New Zealand

Queenstown - Bus Priority measures sought for busy main northern entrance road which runs along steep hillsides above Frankton Arm - to left in this edited Wikimedia Commons photo.
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Ostensibly the urban population of Queenstown is only about 10,000 residents. But as major summer and winter tourist centre, Queenstown's actual heads-on-beds population and in surrounding areas in any given moment is significantly greater. This population is largely squeezed into an incredibly scenic but tightly constricted by hills corner of Lake Wakatipu, with access mostly reliant on the ever busy Frankton Road, skirting the steep side of one arm of the lake.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council - covering Queenstown and Wanaka and areas between - is making a submission to the Otago Regional Transport strategy that includes the request for bus priority measures to be created on Frankton Road - a technology to date rarely seen outside the major centres.

With a huge traffic in tour buses, as well as scheduled long distance and regional services, and one of the only 15 minute local bus services to be found in any provincial town, the District Council is concerned that the Regional Council advises the Government to give sufficient funding to secure this vulnerable road - a State Highway maintained by the nation - against potential slips, and to protect buses against delays.

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