Northern Isles MSPs Tavish Scott and Liam McArthur have today condemned Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd’s (HIAL) decision to introduce a £3-per day parking charge at Stornoway, Kirkwall and Sumburgh airports. The charges are set to be introduced during the busy summer season.
The two MSPs plan to raise their concerns directly with the Minister for Transport and the Islands, Humza Yousaf MSP. They have also launched a petition opposing the move and have encouraged constituents to make their voice heard by signing the petition.
Tavish Scott said,
“I deplore this decision and will campaign to stop the introduction of a HIAL tax on islanders travelling. I stopped this happening when I was the Transport Minister and I am very disappointed that an SNP Government is allowing the introduction of charges. Shetland will campaign against this. Sumburgh is right at the south end of our islands. It is 25 miles from Lerwick. Public transport links are not frequent so for most travellers there is no option but to take the car to the airport.
“Next week Parliament will debate the Islands Bill. How is the imposition of car parking charges at Sumburgh and Kirkwall consistent with Islands proofing? We will ask government ministers to explain.
“This decision is just plain wrong and I want it stopped.
Liam McArthur added:
“Last time HIAL brought forward these proposals, I made clear that they were not justified and would simply add to the already high cost of accessing our lifeline air services.
“Again, like last time, HIAL has not seen fit to consult with the public about the impact such charges will have users of Kirkwall and the other main island airports. This high handed approach does not build confidence and suggests a lack of interest about the problems these proposals will create.
“While encouraging more people to use public transport options is important, this is simply not feasible for many of those using Kirkwall airport. For them, it will be hard to see how this move reflects the new spirit of ‘island proofing’.
“I will do all I can again to stop the introduction of this charge and encourage people in Orkney to make their voice heard by signing our petition.”
Notes to editors:
The petition to reverse car parking charges can be found here.
For more information regarding HIAL’s decision to introduce a £3-per day parking charge at Stornoway, Kirkwall and Sumburgh, please see contact details below.
3x1 Public Relations
Tel: 01224 615850
Phil Allan firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 0141 221 0707
Charlie Mann email@example.com