A pedestrian only trial in one of Queenstown’s busiest streets looks set to become permanent.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council will on Thursday likely declare upper Beach St a “pedestrian mall” meaning any driving, riding or parking will be excluded at all times.
Should the recommendation gain approval, exceptions to the rule will be goods and services vehicles between 5am and 10am, emergency services vehicles at all times and any other vehicles authorised by the council.
Making the street smoke-free and issues related to parking and loading zones would be considered as part of the Queenstown Town Centre Master Plan and the Queenstown Town Centre Transport Strategy.
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The road between Camp St and Cow Ln has been blocked to traffic during the day in a trial since late 2015.
Downtown QT manager Steve Wilde said they had been pushing for pedestrian-only access for a long time and businesses were pretty happy with how the trial had gone.
“It’s all moving in the right direction.
“The next phase is to have the street upgraded.”
Upgrading the street could mean new landscaping, artwork and sculptures, Wilde said.
In a submission to council earlier this year, Wilde acknowledged the trial period had put financial pressure on some businesses and that a Friday market in the street had been “detrimental” to some.
However, no business had said they didn’t want permanent closure of the street, he said.
The markets were permanently stopped in February this year as there was “no support for that” from businesses, Wilde said on Tuesday.
The public council meeting starts at 1pm at the Lake Hawea Community Centre.