The Government has said that the Opposition parties have “jumped the gun” in their “misinformed criticism” of the Government over the creation of new parking spaces under the new school projects. The Government says that the parties are so eager to compete with each other in their rush to be negative about everything that the Government does that they simply have no regard for the facts.
A spokesperson said: “There has, for instance, been some criticism that car parking spaces have been offered for sale and not for rental. This an incredible assessment to make given that the very advert that announced the sales states very clearly that there will be some parking offered for rental and that those spaces will be released at a later date. This makes it very difficult to take them seriously as they simply do not appear to have read the information that is already available and in the public domain.
“Moreover, the allocation of 258 spaces for sale inside the car park, with the additional spaces to rent, means that over 250 vehicles will no longer require on-street parking once they move into the new facility. This will make it easier for everyone else who does not want to buy or to rent a parking space as there will be more spaces available for free elsewhere.
“There have also been misguided comments on child safety. It is regrettable that once again they have shot from the hip before establishing what the true facts are. The provision for school drop- off inside the parking facility has been a huge improvement to the situation that existed previously, for many years, including during the time of the GSD administration when cars blocked both the road and the bus stop and children were dropped off in the street. The new Notre Dame provides a school drop-off facility inside the building and this will continue even after the parking spaces have been sold or rented. The car park will be managed and controlled through Gibraltar Car Parks and operated as a private facility for its users. The suggestion that this will make it less secure than the street is absurd. This criticism amounts to nothing more than blatant scaremongering.
“It is also untrue to suggest that no provision has been made for teachers to park their cars. The Government, the schools and the trade union have already agreed that teachers will have the same number of parking spaces inside the building as they had previously in the open air.
“The construction of the new Notre Dame school, the new St Anne’s School and the new comprehensives represents an investment in education which has never been seen before and is a priority for the Government. This is in the best interests of the community.
“The construction of car parks underneath the schools, where spaces will be sold or rented, is also in the best interests of the community.
“These developments are clearly not in the best interests of the Opposition. The reason for this is because the Government is addressing long-standing issues in terms of school and traffic infrastructure that has never been tackled before.
“It beggars belief that the GSD Opposition, in particular, should criticise these measures when they did precious little about it when they had the chance over sixteen years.”