Unable to Hike to the Eruption? Will Bus Service Be Offered?

Paying for parking near the eruption site.

Paying for parking near the eruption site. Photo/Kristinn Magnússon

Vala Hafstað

Part of the parking fees collected near the eruption site by Fagradalsfjall mountain, Southwest Iceland, will be used to fund improved access to the area, Sigurður Guðjón Gíslason, head of the landowners’ association Hraun, tells mbl.is . That would include building a better parking lot, installing restrooms and offering scheduled bus service to the top of the mountain.

“That way, those who have trouble hiking up the mountain could be transported there, such as the elderly and people with disabilities,” he explains.

Rescue workers have monitored the area since the eruption started …

Rescue workers have monitored the area since the eruption started in March. mbl.is/Íris Jóhannsdóttir

“The lava flow during the past weeks has prevented landowners from moving ahead with these projects as quickly as they would have liked to,” Sigurður states. “They are, too, dependent on planning authorities, such as the town of Grindavík…and the Environment Agency of Iceland.” He adds that it is unclear how quickly they will be allowed to start those projects.

When asked whether part of the parking fee will be used to support rescue teams, which have monitored the area since the eruption started in March, Sigurður states that is not the plan.

“It was discussed for a while to have an optional additional contribution for the rescue teams, but they are, to some extent, supported by the state,” he responds. “We are faced with a large cost. We share these fees with another landowner, who owns part of the land reserved for parking, so only part of the fees goes to those of us involved in the development.”

Monitoring of whether visitors actually pay the parking fee hasn’t started. “We wanted to give people time to adjust,” Sigurður states.

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