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Proposals for a new transport environment in Frankton, Queenstown reach key milestone


An improved transport environment for Queenstown is one step closer as a key milestone is reached in the multi-million-dollar New Zealand Upgrade Programme.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency plans to make significant changes to the roading network in Frankton, the entrance to Queenstown,  including replacing the State Highway 6/ 6A roundabout with a signalised intersection, adding bus lanes, expanding the existing bus hub and improving access for pedestrians and cyclists.

The project team has in recent days lodged the Notices of Requirement with Queenstown Lakes District Council which will allow for safter streets and better public transport infrastructure.  This is a joint application to designate additional land for the improvements.

Waka Kotahi Project Sponsor Richard Osborne says this is a significant milestone for the project.

“This notice is one of the key steps in this process and if approved allows for a major upgrade to the Frankton area.

“The existing roundabout is a known pinch point for congestion and as growth continues in the district pressure on the state highway network will continue. The plans for Frankton aim to increase capacity by providing more space for public transport helping to encourage people on to buses.”

Changes to the highway through Frankton will allow for increased public transport services and routes as well as encouraging more people to cycle or walk.

The works are being delivered via the Kā Huanui a Tāhuna alliance in partnership with Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Council’s Property and Infrastructure General Manager Peter Hansby describes it as an important step in the process, building on a long-standing partnership approach to investing in the local transport network.

“We’re thrilled to be lodging the applications and taking tangible steps towards delivering these improvements.  It is the result of many years work through the Way to Go partnership to investigate and develop a business case for the investment, furthered by the more recent work to develop the designs and get ready for construction.”

The council’s Planning and Development team received the Notices of Requirement in early December. The documentation is currently being reviewed ahead of public notification and submissions are expected to open in the New Year.

Waka Kotahi has been in touch with landowners directly affected by the proposed designation and will continue working with and supporting them throughout the process.

Waka Kotahi and KiwiRail are delivering the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, the Government’s $8.7 billion transport investment. It reflects the Government’s transport priorities with a focus on improving safety and providing better transport options in growing parts of New Zealand, including Queenstown.

At a glance

The proposed traffic signals at the SH6/SH6A intersection will make it safer for drivers, pedestrians, and people on bikes.  It will also help improve the flow of traffic into and out of Queenstown’s town centre. The bus lanes will connect into and have priority at the new intersection. Key features include:

  • Roundabout replaced with traffic signals
  • Shared paths for cyclists and pedestrians
  • Improved access to Frankton Golf Centre
  • Bus lanes to support public transport efficiency
  • Safer access onto SH6/Kawarau Road from Gray Street 

The proposed extension to the bus hub will allow space and efficiency for better public transport options for Queenstown as the population grows and as services and routes increase. Key features include:

  • Increased number of bus bays
  • Dedicated tourist operator bays
  • Dedicated taxi stands
  • Dedicated entry and exit points to SH6
  • Additional space for bus users
  • New and upgraded bus shelters
  • New information and ticket booth
  • Facilities for drivers

Public transport

In addition to Waka Kotahi providing infrastructure for public transport, the Otago Regional Council is working on the Queenstown Public Transport Detailed Business Case.  It will cover detailed analysis of how bus routes and the fleet will evolve over the next 15 years. Its scope includes the likely demand for services, quality of service, additional public transport infrastructure, asset ownership, system management and labour supply and future funding.

An artist impression of the expanded bus hub and new bus lanes

Preliminary designs of State Highway 6/6A intersection