Sigurður Guðjón Gíslason, head of the Hraun landowners association, told mbl.is that some of the parking fees charged near the eruption site in Fagradalsfjall in southwest Iceland will be used to finance improved access to the area. This would include building a better car park, installing toilets and offering regular bus connections to the top of the mountain.
“In this way, people who have mobility problems could be transported there, e.g. elderly and disabled people” – explain.
“Lava flow in recent weeks has prevented landowners from completing these projects as quickly as they would like” – states Sigurður. “They are also dependent on planning authorities such as the city of Grindavík and Iceland’s Environmental Protection Agency.” It is not clear how soon they will be allowed to start implementing these projects.
When asked if part of the parking fee will be used to support the rescue teams that have been monitoring the area since the eruption began in March, Sigurður said there are no such plans.
“There has been some debate about an optional additional contribution for rescue teams, but they are supported to some extent by the state.” – he replies. “We are dealing with high costs. We share these fees with another owner of a portion of the land reserved for parking, so only a portion of the fees go to those of us who are involved in the development. ”
Monitoring the effectiveness of the collection of parking fees has not yet started. “We wanted to give people time to adjust” – states Sigurður.