21st October 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Sumburgh Airport car park charges will be delayed

Controversial car parking charges at Sumburgh Airport will not be introduced on Sunday, as originally planned by airport operator Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd.

Hial still intends to bring in the £3 per day fee in Orkney and Stornoway on 1st July. But ongoing discussions between the airport authority and Shetland Islands Council are delaying their introduction here.

The council is writing to the new islands minister Paul Wheelhouse calling for a full impact assessment of introducing the fees in Shetland.

That follows a meeting last week when elected members and officials met Hial representatives.

Figures showed “significant subsidies” were going to Dundee Airport.

Councillors are disappointed the former islands minister Humza Yousaf did not raise the issue of any impact assessment in relation to the distribution of funds across the Hial network of airports.

Speaking after today’s full council meeting, council leader Steven Coutts said: “We need reassurance from the Scottish government that we’ll not suffer unfairly at the expense of other airports like Dundee.

“We were disappointed with a lack of communication with Hial, however the responsibility for carrying out an impact assessment rests with government. We cannot see another tax rolled out in the islands.”

Mr Wheelhouse was named as new islands minister following Nicola Sturgeon’s ministerial reshuffle. His brief also includes energy and connectivity. He replaces Mr Yousaf who has taken a new cabinet position as justice secretary.

Transport, which was the responsibility of Mr Yousaf, is now the remit of Michael Matheson.

Meanwhile, Isles MSP Tavish Scott has called on ministers to reconsider the rollout of the charges at Sumburgh Airport.

• More in this week’s Shetland Times

One comment

  1. Michael Garriock

    What ‘opportune’ timing to split ministerial responsibility for transport matters and island’s matters.

    While combined ministerial responsibility for transport and island issues in a single portfolio could never be seen as an ideal arrangement, and the split welcome for that reason, the flip side is it opens up a perfect situation for a ‘pass the parcel’ scenario on an issue such as island airport parking, which obviously involves both portfolios.

    I predict that it will now become quite difficult to make the buck stop on either minister’s desk on this one, with the obvious problem that in being flipped back and forth between them, the ‘arse will fall between two stools’.

    Reply

Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.