Politicians urge those against car parking charges at Sumburgh to make their voices heard
Anyone opposed to plans to introduce car parking charges at Sumburgh Airport should write to the operator, two politicians have urged.
Isles MSP Tavish Scott and the council’s environment and transport committee chairman Ryan Thomson want individuals, businesses and public organisations to raise their concerns and send an “unambiguous message” to Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd.
Hial has come under increased pressure since it announced plans to introduce charges of £3 per day at Shetland’s main airport – without carrying out prior consultation.
Mr Thomson insists the airport authority is treating its customers who use the lifeline service with “contempt”.
Hial has argued it will gather feedback before the charges are introduced on 1st July.
Mr Scott said: “Ryan and I would urge people across Shetland to send an unambiguous message to Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd. That message is ‘no, we do not and will not accept the imposition of car parking charges at Sumburgh airport’.
“Hial originally said they did not have time to consult. Now they say they are consulting. But on what? So we ask everyone who would be affected by these charges to write or email Hial.
“A strong ‘no’ to these proposals must be listened to both by Hial and the Scottish government’s transport minister.”
Mr Thomson added: “Hial has treated the people of Shetland with contempt. They have not discussed or consulted with politicians, the council, or more importantly the users of the airport on the implementation of car parking charges, which will add an additional burden on users who are already paying inflated costs simply to get on and off the islands.
“These proposals were thrown out back in 2010 after consultation recognised that a parking charge would simply be unfair for the vast majority of those travelling to the airport.
“A simple, formal consultation this time round would have highlighted exactly the same issues and suggested, once more, that these charges were unfair and unjust.
“It’s telling that Hial decided not to conduct a formal consultation this time round.
“I would urge anyone who is opposed to these charges and feels that introducing them on our lifeline service is unfair, to contact Hial as soon as possible and let them know.”