More than 1,200 locals submit on Frankton Track surfacing

by Lauren Pattemore - Jun 07, 2023

The two-month community consultation on new sealing options for the Frankton Track has ended, but users will have to wait longer for the verdict.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has indicated the announcement on the future of the Frankton Track will be made later this month.

There are four potential paths the council could take on what to do with the lakeside bike track - either keeping it as is, or laying 3/5 grade chipseal, 4/6 grade chipseal or 5/6 grade chipseal over the track.

The council posed the question to the community on March 3, with feedback closing on Friday, May 19.

Sealing the Frankton Track with chipseal has struck a nerve within the Queenstown community, with a council social media post about the trial generating some angst.

Queenstown Trails Trust chief executive Mark Williams also weighed in, saying he didn't see the point in spending money sealing this track when other bike paths in the Whakatipu were not yet developed.

As part of the trial, the council laid three separate seal options at points along the popular walking track, with signage and a QR code, linking users to the feedback survey online.

A council spokesperson says the cost of applying different temporary surfaces was $5,474 - not including GST.

However despite this very on-the-ground approach to community consultation, many had already jumped in to have their say before seeing the track.

More than half of the 1,200 survey responses came in before the different test surfaces had been laid, a QLDC spokesperson says, meaning those respondents gave feedback without having had experienced the different trail surfaces.

There was a delay in putting down the chipseal examples due to the weather.

But the council remains happy with the high level of feedback, saying it was "far more" than what it received in 2021, when it posed a similar question as part of an active transport consultation.

Then, the council had asked the community, “Would sealing the surface of this trail make you more likely to use it for commuting?”.

There were only 128 responses, and they were inconclusive, with 31 percent saying they were "neutral", 31 percent giving it a "yes", and 38 percent, a "no".

This lack of a clear direction was one of the reasons why the council went back out to ask the community again, this time with actual surfaces laid down for users to compare.

Results from the 2023 trial are unknown as the council is yet to release results.

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