Across the world, the Queenstown area is known as a clean, safe travel destination. The current traffic and the pollution it is causing is making it difficult for us to uphold this reputation. If Queenstown becomes polluted, busy and unsafe; people are less likely to visit. This will affect many of the companies which rely on the tourist industry as a source of income. It also affects students living in this area, especially in places like Remarkables Primary School, which is in the midst of Frankton. We need to do something about the traffic here, as it is negatively affecting everyone and the future of Frankton.
There are a lot of people living in Frankton and the surrounding area. Consequently, there is also a lot of traffic. The traffic situation in Frankton is steadily worsening and there are more traffic accidents and congestion as people enter and exit Frankton. It is wasting everyone's time and money as fuel costs rise. It is also endangering our safety as drivers get more impatient to move ahead. Only the other day, someone pulled out in front of us on the way to school and my Mum had to swerve across the road to avoid a collision. The mayor of the Queenstown area has put in place plans to reduce traffic congestion, which can be found here. This clearly shows it is recognized as a problem, however, this alone cannot solve Frankton’s problems.
As the daily traffic issues indicate, there are a lot of people in Frankton using non-renewable energy to power cars. Though the area relies mainly on Hydro-power from the Clyde dam to power houses, cars are still having a negative effect on climate. Compared with larger cities, it may not be too much of an issue, but every little bit helps, and using fossil fueled vehicles is not helping Queenstown's image for the tourist industry. Cars which run off renewable energy, such as electric cars, are not yet widely available and affordable for everyone. When the technology becomes accessible, everything possible should be done to encourage people to use it. Until then, the situation could be helped along with more effective use of public transport.
Busses and other public transport help the environment because they mean that there are less individuals driving. Currently, the bus route doesn’t extend near to where I live, which is around Dalefield. It also costs an unreasonable amount to use the bus daily. For me, as a school student, I can use the school busses, but some days after school I take part in extra-curricular activities, which means that I need to stay for about an hour after school and then be picked up and taken home. This is not convenient. Being able to take the bus home would save time for me and other students. It would also reduce the amount of cars driven on the roads, which would reduce both traffic and pollution for other people living in or passing through Frankton.
Clearly, Frankton and the area around it is still developing a lot. Though some things can only be completed in the future, there are some things which can be done right now. People can be encouraged to change their driving style with adverts in places where they are likely to look. Public transport can be re-examined and changed to suit everyone's needs. If something is easily done, and affordable, then people are likely to do it.
By Briar Greer - Wakatipu High School Year 10 Student