With the Queenstown Winter Festival in full swing, the area’s highways will be hectic at times, says NZ Transport Agency Journey Manager Graeme Hall. “The Transport Agency has a new tool in Queenstown and Frankton – web cameras - to help people plan their journeys.”
The building boom on the Frankton Flats, plus Queenstown visitor numbers tracking at near record levels, has seen significant increases in state highway traffic volumes. In 2015, there was a 10 percent rise in vehicles on State Highway (SH) 6 near the Queenstown Events Centre. Latest Transport Agency traffic counts show around 20,000 vehicles a day use SH6A between Queenstown and Frankton.
Longer-term projects to help ease traffic congestion, including planned improvements to the SH6/SH6A BP roundabout, won’t be ready this winter.
Given this situation, the Transport Agency’s focus this winter is on providing people with easy access to information so they can make smart choices about how and when they travel.
“Central to this is the installation of web cameras at key points on the Queenstown/ Frankton highway network,” says Graeme Hall.
“These are viewable on-line at www.nzta.govt.nz/otago-traffic(external link). People can then factor this information into their travel plans. For example, if you see traffic building up on the highway at one of the web camera sites, you may decide to delay your trip 15 or 20 minutes.”
Web cameras at three sites - Shotover/Stanley Street, Ballarat/Stanley Street and the Kawarau Falls Bridge are now on-line(external link).
More traffic web camera sites at the SH6/6A BP Roundabout and SH6 McBride Street pedestrian crossing lights should be on-line toward the end of July.
Mr Hall says the traffic web cameras give motorists a practical tool to plan their journeys, at one of the busiest times of the year for the Queenstown highway network. Drivers are also encouraged to allow extra time for their trip, and if they can, travel outside the morning and late afternoon traffic peaks.