HIAL poised to decide on Sumburgh car parking charges

A decision on whether to introduce parking charges at Sumburgh Airport is due to be made by Highlands & Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) on Wednesday.

Pressure on HIAL not to inflict the extra charges on travellers is intense, with the company’s chairman Grenville Johnston in Lerwick on Monday for talks with representatives of several local groups.

Shetland Islands Council, NHS Shetland, the Sumburgh Airport Consultative Committee, Voluntary Action Shetland, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Disability Shetland and Dunrossness Community Council all put their case to Mr Johnston, along with MSP Tavish Scott, himself one of the isles’ most frequent travellers.

Mr Scott said he had also received many telephone calls from people opposing the proposed charges.

He said: “After [Monday’s] meeting, involving so many different Shetland organisations, HIAL can be in no doubt that parking charges is the wrong approach. They would be another travel tax on Shetlanders, would be anti-business and wouldn’t bring in the cash that HIAL expects.

“I trust that we made the case and the HIAL board will listen and take the right decision. They should also be clear that, were they to proceed with charges, we will take this to the Scottish government in the most powerful way.”


Add Your Comment
  • John Dally

    • February 10th, 2010 11:15

    I am strongly against the introduction of parking charges at Sumburgh Airport. The extended car park was funded, I understand, through government grant.
    We all as taxpayers contribute to the funds the government then uses.
    Why should we have to give again if we use a facility we have already in effect paid for?

  • John Dally

    • February 10th, 2010 11:33

    Researching a bit further at the H.I.A.L. website I read the following ‘Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) is a company wholly owned by the Scottish Ministers and is sponsored by the Scottish Government Transport Directorate. The company’s purpose is to maintain the safe operation of its airports, and to support economic and social development in the Highlands and Islands.’
    ‘HIAL was incorporated in Edinburgh on 4 March 1986 as a private limited company under the Companies Act 1985. On 1 April 1995, ownership of HIAL passed from the Civil Aviation Authority to the Secretary of State for Scotland, now the Scottish Ministers.

    HIAL receives subsidies from the Scottish Ministers in accordance with Section 34 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982.’

    So, it is indirectly the Scottish Government that might consider imposing parking charges. That’s a bit of hypocrisy for a government that has curbed parking charges at NHS hospitals and removed tolls from bridges.

    If H.I.A.L.’s purpose is ‘….to support economic and social development in the Highlands and Islands.’ I cannot see how introducing parking charges can do this, do you?

    Tell your MSP what you think of this proposal, I shall be doing so.


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