Fuseworks Media

‘NPDC looking after our maunga this summer holiday season’

People planning get a closer look at Taranaki Maunga this summer need to be prepared for delays with summer traffic controls back in place at the Egmont Road entrance from this Saturday (23 December).

The ‘one car out, one car in’ system helps ease congestion road on the road up to the North Egmont Visitor Centre during the busy summer season.

First introduced in 2019, the system was put in place due to the visitor centre’s car park and the road leading up to it regularly becoming congested on public holidays and weekends. The overcrowding creates a significant safety hazard and poses a threat to the fragile alpine landscapes beside the parking areas.

“When we’ve used this system in previous years, we’ve successfully managed the limited numbered of parking spaces available at the maunga’s north entrance while keeping Te Papa-Kura-o-Taranaki (national park) accessible for visitors.

Our maunga is precious to everyone who lives in Taranaki, and we want to make sure that its special character is preserved,” says NPDC Manager Infrastructure Rui Leitao.

The one in and one out system be introduced once the 82 parking spaces around the visitor centre are full, which in previous years was about 6.30am until late afternoon on the following dates:

Daily from 23 December 6 February (except Christmas Day).

Taranaki Anniversary Weekend.

Easter weekend.

People wanting to drive to the national park this summer need to be prepared for delays and groups should look at other options, such as hiring a commercial shuttle which will be allowed to bypass queues to drop-offs and pick-ups.

Portaloos and water will be available to those waiting in the traffic queue and on days with low demand, such as when it is raining, there will be no traffic management in place.

“If people find there’s a wait to access the national park, they could look at one of the other park entrances or explore walks in other areas of the district, such as around Lake Mangamahoe or at Purangi Reserve – the New Plymouth i-SITE at Puke Ariki has lots of recommendations for outdoor activities,” says Rui.

NPDC is working on a long-term solution to the traffic issues by building a public car park on Egmont Road (outside the national park) that will have facilities for commercial shuttles.

Construction is currently being planned to start in 2025/2026 subject to gaining consent and funding through next year’s 10-year Plan (2024-2034).

 

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