The Department of Conservation has announced it will be implementing a four-hour parking limit at the start of the famous Tongariro Crossing in a bid to ease congestion.
Source: 1 NEWS
DOC want to see more people use shuttle services to alleviate traffic on the road leading up to the crossing, which sees vehicles parked haphazardly all along the 7km length of the narrow road during summer months.
A DOC spokesperson told 1 NEWS NOW they have been working for years with many local groups to try and solve the overcrowding issue and other options they looked at included closing the road to public traffic or paying for parking.
They said the four-hour restriction was the best option in the end, as it still provides people with the option of doing short walks and provides access to the roads.
When asked if forcing people to take shuttles may add an extra cost that will put some people off walking the crossing, DOC responded.
"In the short term, there may be resistance to some shuttle costs. People can still be dropped off and picked up privately.
"As people come to realise that the transport system will alleviate some of the crowding and make the access easier, for all concerned."
DOC rangers will be on site during the summer to make sure the four hour time limit is adhered to and educate visitors on the parking issue and advise them on shuttles.
DOC says they're trying to get the message out there so people can plan ahead and book shuttles, an option they say is also good for safety, as it's easier to account for people who have booked shuttles to and from the crossing.
The new restrictions will be in force over the summer months and are in effect from October 21 to April 30, 2018 this summer season.