A "park-and-ride" option is being touted as a way to optimise and enhance the experience of Milford Sound for visitors.
The system would involve a terminus in Te Anau with tourists parking their cars in the town before taking a return shuttle bus to Milford Sound.
Steve Canny, of Venture Southland enterprise and strategic projects, said since a study in 2005 to look at transport options to and from Milford Sound, the park-and-ride had continued to be the preferred option.
"There are a number of reasons why a park-and-ride option was considered and continues to be the best option to enhance and optimise visitor experience in Milford Sound," he said.
The system, based on United States national parks, improved the wilderness experience and safety for visitors, Mr Canny said.
"There would be less vehicles on the road and the drivers of the buses would have a good knowledge of the road and the conditions," he said.
Visitor numbers have also brought the park-and-ride option back into focus, Mr Canny said.
"... the original study was done because there was concern visitor numbers were approaching their upper limit but now visitor numbers have fallen and there is no growth," Mr Canny said.
"The park-and-ride system would be a way to ensure buses entering the park are full."
He said there was no plan to try to prohibit private vehicles from entering Fiordland National Park and any development would require considerable discussion with operators. However, there was a lot of support from Te Anau businesses and other Fiordland operators to dust off the park-and-ride option, Mr Canny said.
Meanwhile, Environment Southland's environmental management committee agreed to approve $25,000 for the Milford Transport Options Review 2012.
Council policy analyst Russell Hawkes said the review would bring the transport options into a sharper focus than its predecessor, which was done in 2005 at a relatively superficial level.
Policy and planning manager Ken Swinney said the committee would not be looking to pick a winning option but compile a report that reflected the benefits, disadvantages and risks of all options.
The park-and-ride option was definitely on the list and Venture Southland would be able to use the information from the report to build into its proposal, Mr Swinney said.
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