'Luton Airport should pay for measures to ease parking' say Lib Dems

Measures to ease parking problems in part of Luton should be paid for by the town’s airport, according to the local Liberal Democrats.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 11:57 am
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 11:58 am

Residents in the Vauxhall Park and Wigmore areas “have complained about holidaymakers and airport workers clogging up their parking spaces for years”, said the party’s group leader councillor David Franks.

“One of the key problems is people going on holiday who park on the streets for two weeks because the airport car park charges are so high,” he explained.

“At last, after years of pressure from Liberal Democrat councillors, Luton Borough Council has consulted residents on possible solutions to the problem.

Luton Airport

“One of the suggestions is a residents’ parking scheme which would ban those without a permit from using the area to park.”

But councillor Franks argues that making residents pay £50 a year for a permit to park outside their homes is unfair when the problem is caused by people accessing the airport.

“This is a quality of life issue and we have put down a motion for debate at the full council meeting on Tuesday (Jan 21st) calling for the airport to pay all the costs, including the annual permit charges,” he added.

“The airport causes the problem and the airport should pay for the solution.

“We will see how serious the Labour council is about dealing with the problem and how fair minded they are about collecting the permit fees and other costs.”

The motion submitted by the Liberal Democrats asks the council to acknowledge that residents of Vauxhall Park and Wigmore suffer from inconsiderate parking.

This mainly involves “people employed at or near the airport and by passengers unwilling to pay car park charges”.

It also asks the council to note that its highways officers have held extensive talks with local residents on possible measures to reduce the damage caused to their quality of life.

And it wants the council to accept that this problem “is entirely because of airport operations and would not exist if London Luton Airport was not there”.

The council is asked to consider that “the airport should bear the whole and complete cost of any necessary measures introduced by the local authority to reduce the damage to the quality of life of local residents”.

The motion calls for the council chief executive and other relevant officers to begin “talks with London Luton Airport Limited and London Luton Airport Operations Limited to secure their agreement to pay the costs of introducing and operating any parking regulation schemes in full”.

This would include “costs designed to deal with the problem, which would otherwise be borne by the residents”.

And the Liberal Democrats are requesting updates on the progress of the talks at each full council meeting.