Government owned operator Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) confirmed on Wednesday that building work to erect barriers and a pay station would re-commence on Monday.
The latest update in the long delayed project to generate additional revenue for HIAL was condemned by Shetland MSP Tavish Scott and the chairman of the SIC’s transport and environment committee Ryan Thomson.
“Happy Christmas Shetland, a lovely present from your big friend at HIAL, who care not one jot for travelling public in Shetland and are only interested in making life more difficult for us all,” Scott said.
“The Scottish Government nor HIAL have offered any help whatsoever to Shetland Islands Council in providing public transport alternatives for islanders.”
Thomson added that the fight against the charges was not over and would continue even once they had been introduced.
“I find it absolutely shocking and shambolic from the Scottish Government that they haven’t yet intervened in this. This is flying in the face of any sort of island proofing – I hope it is not a sign of things to come.
“We will certainly still try to have conversations with the government and particularly the islands minister to try and put a hold to this even after its implementation.”
HIAL announced in March this year that it planned to introduce airport car parking charges at Kirkwall, Stornoway and Sumburgh.
The move was condemned outright in Shetland where the main airport is located 25 miles south of Lerwick and public transport links are not aligned with aircraft arrival and departure times.
While those charges have been levied at Orkney and in the Western Isles since 1 July, the introduction in Shetland was delayed due to road traffic concerns.
A HIAL spokesperson said on Wednesday: “Work on the new parking system at Sumburgh airport will commence w/c 29 October and will continue throughout November.
“Car parking charges are scheduled to be introduced on 1 December 2018.
“Inconvenience to customers will be kept to a minimum and the changes will be clearly signposted. There will no charge for up to two hours for pick up and drop off.
“A full list of those passengers eligible for exemption from the charges is available via our website at www.hial.co.uk.”
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 350 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or by monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News