Queenstown CBD parking 'contentious issue' as strategy out for consultation

by Lauren Pattemore - Jan 26, 2024

As it becomes more difficult to find a spot to leave your vehicle in the Queenstown CBD, the council's parking strategy is out for consultation with two days left until it closes.

Meanwhile, potentially some relief for motorists with a proposed new carpark close to town to accommodate 85 vehicles announced.

Queenstown Business Chamber of Commerce chief executive Sharon Fifield says she's hearing from a lot of CBD businesses that the situation has gone from "bad to progressively worse". 

"It's become apparent that hundreds of parks were lost in the CBD street upgrades, with no solutions for more parking."

The chamber has submitted on the Queenstown Lakes District Council's parking strategy, and Ms Fifield says they will soon be providing an official statement on their position on the draft.

But, for now, she's made it clear, the chamber would like solutions to this "contentious issue". 

Captains Restaurant owner Jenny Lauder says they recently received a four-star review, with the single star reportedly taken off because the customer had difficulty finding parking in the CBD. 

The parking strategy consultation closes on Sunday, January 28, with residents being asked to fill out a 13-question survey in response to the draft strategy, which will shape the district's parking decisions.

The strategy acknowledges car ownership in the district is "exceptionally high" and 28 percent of all Queenstown Lakes households have three or more vehicles.

One of the principles of the draft strategy is utilising what the district already has, as "providing more car parking does not align with our vision for the district", it says.

"Public parking spaces are a finite resource and need to be valued and used efficiently."

The strategy says demand and access will be managed in town centres through pricing, restrictions and enforcement. 

The strategy has five main objectives; prioritise access according to user needs, encourage mode shift and emission reduction, support a prosperous local economy and an efficient transport network, and create people-focussed environments.

It acknowledges that as the resident and visitor populations continue to grow, parking availability around the district will continue to diminish. 

The district has experienced a 40 percent population growth from 2013 to 2018, and 75 percent growth is forecast over the next 30 years.

Wilson's Parking NZ LTD is responding to demand and has applied to develop a section of grassland by the Queenstown Gardens into another parking lot, with a planned 85 spaces.

It's only a temporary site, as the resource consent application asks for the space for a maximum of five years. 

It's 2,800 square metres in size and located on the corner of Frankton Road and Brisbane Street. 

Earlier in the week, Queenstown local Anthony Casey shared his frustration that one of the only remaining free parking spots in town has now been taken out of action. 

He copped a $85 ticket for parking there unaware of the change in use.

Main image (QLDC consenting documents): A concept drawing for the Wilson's Parking spot on Frankton Road and Brisbane Street.

Support Crux Support Crux