Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL) and Ruapehu District Council are working together in a winter tourist venture to save wear and tear on the mountain road.

Last week RAL, which operates the Ruapehu skifields, started a complimentary shuttle service from Ohakune to keep hundreds of cars off the mountain road and out of the Turoa skifield carpark.

And now the council is proposing 90-minute restricted parking in parts of the Ohakune township to persuade visitors to park on the outskirts of town.

RAL chief executive Ross Copland said the shuttle service was working well after just a week.


"But we won't know the full benefit until the season really gets going."

He was adamant the one other shuttle operator in Ohakune wasn't missing out on business.

"Definitely not - we're working together."

Temporary bus stop locations on Goldfinch St and Mangawhero Terrace have been established for the new shuttle service to the snow.

Mr Copland said the cone bus locations would be removed each night.

"Or we will alternatively install temporary bus stop signs to these locations for the winter."

Pickup/drop-off locations will need signs to help customers identify the bus stops, he said.

"On busier days, a parking host will be on site to ensure everyone is safely loaded."


Mr Copland stressed that the new complimentary service would address congestion, road safety and parking constraints on the mountain road and Turoa ski area carpark.

Council communications manager Paul Wheatcroft said council working in with RAL was good for Ohakune and the approaching ski season.

"There are a few parking restrictions currently in the town, but - with thousands of people expected during the season - we needed to make it clear that parking on the outskirts was better for everyone."