Airport Car Park Design An ‘Accident Waiting To Happen’

airport building 2014New parking arrangements at St Mary’s Airport have been described as a “backwards step” and “an accident waiting to happen.”

Cllr Adrian Davis made the comments at Tuesday’s Transport Committee meeting, during an update on the work by the Senior Manager for Development Diana Mompoloki.

Adrian said he had serious concerns about the design. He said he’d only recently seen them, although Diana disputed that, saying that members had been given the chance to review them at several meetings “in one form or another.”

Diana explained that there will now be a line of parking bays outside the terminal, restricted to minibuses and disabled passengers. She said the Council had brought in car park designers to come up with the scheme and it would stop people from walking out into the traffic.

She added that 80% of passengers use the transport minibuses and the plans had been designed around them.

And she said there have been a number of near misses in the past with one even happening during of the design team’s visit, when a woman was struck by a reversing vehicle.

But Adrian felt the new scheme would make that worse. He said instead of having a circular route for vehicles through the area, they’ll now have to drive into a bay and then reverse out again.

He described it as “a sad day” when a designer could come up with a scheme that actually increased the number of vehicles backing up.

But the designs being presented to councillors were for information only and not for approval.

Diana also explained that long term parking for locals was still possible on the existing grassed areas of the airport forecourt.

She said it wasn’t as convenient as before and any charges would be a matter for the Airport Management Team.

She emphasised that informal parking arrangements could continue, “until someone comes up with a plan.”

But Cllr James Francis felt it was important to discuss the provision of parking for residents, which he described as a “controversial subject.”

The airport upgrades are expected to be finished by the end of November says Diana, later than expected due to problems sourcing material and labour from the mainland.

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