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Council activates Visitor Ambassadors in support of shuttle

Council activates Visitor Ambassadors in support of snow shuttle

The second weekend of Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL) free park and ride snow shuttle service went well with local businesses reporting they were happy with council’s response to the parking and congestion issues that arose the inaugural weekend.

Ruapehu District Council Land Transport Manager Warren Furner said that Council responded to community feedback over issues in the Ohakune CBD last weekend by activating an Ohakune Visitor Ambassador programme.

“The Ambassadors were out and about in Ohakune over both Saturday and Sunday talking with snow shuttle users about helping support the local business community and not parking all day in the restricted P90 areas within the CBD,” he said.

“Shuttle users were given a brochure containing a map of the Ohakune CBD that showed P90 and unrestricted parking areas.”

“The Ambassadors reported that people were very accommodating when the issues were discussed with them and happy to make use of the unrestricted parking areas just outside the CBD.”

“We also put out numerous P90 cones around the CBD to help make areas we wanted to keep clear for shoppers more obvious to out of town visitors.”

“Council will be installing permanent P90 signs around the CBD this week and is asking local businesses that have their own parking to support this with restricted parking signage of their own.”

Mr. Furner said that he spoke with a number of Ohakune business owners over the weekend who said that they supported what council and RAL was trying to do.

“Our feedback is that they are overwhelmingly in support of the snow shuttle service and like council recognize that we need to find a balance between the commercial opportunities from having more people in the CBD and some carparks being used by people who are up skiing all day.”

“Most people also understand that we only have three or four weekends a season where we have the sort of crowd pressures we experienced last week and challenge our available resources.”

“As a trial both council and RAL knew there would be issues that needed to be identified and resolved.”

“Because of the school holidays we now have a much better idea of where parking restrictions are needed especially in high volume periods,” he said.

“If RAL decides that the snow shuttle trial is a success and continues with it we are confident when we get the next fresh snow, fine weather, big crowd weekend any issues will be able to be managed.”

Mr. Furner said that in the interim council compliance staff would continue with regular monitoring of the P90 areas within the Ohakune CBD.


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