Cars “invade” Somma, as holidaymakers take off
In summer, the number of private car parks serving the airport increase, occupying fields and the edges of the Ticino Park. The Local Police Force is carrying out checks, issuing fines, and the Public Prosecutor’s Office has even been informed.
This seasonal invasion, at the height of summer, is not by locusts or tiger mosquitoes, but car parks for holidaymakers, which are multiplying around Malpensa Airport. All it takes is a bit of open space, a field, half a clearing, and a minibus. Holidaymakers discover it on the Internet, they come, leave their cars, go on to Malpensa, and return a few weeks later to collect their cars. Now that the car parks have advanced into the town, the council of Somma Lombardo has started carrying out checks. “Like all years, the parking areas have been taken by storm, not only in the industrial area, near the airport, but now also on the edge of the town and in the central areas,” said the Councillor for Safety, Luigi Mancini. “We’re checking the areas, to confirm that they’ve been rented correctly, that they’ve got the necessary permits.”
Of course, the checks are being carried out by the Local Police Force in Somma Lombardo, who, in the past, carefully checked the phenomenon of car parks springing up around the airport (both fixed and “seasonal”), from Tornavento and Sant’Antonino, to Case Nuove, to Cardano al Campo. We should point out that these spaces are private businesses (which are perfectly legal, provided they are set up in accordance with existing regulations) that are independent of the airport, where there are the car parks managed by the airport management company, SEA. In the past, they were on the outskirts, towards the woods; today, they’ve almost reached the centre. This is what has happened, for example, beside the Villoresi schools, where a large car park has opened in a field. It should be remembered that the phenomenon of seasonal car parks affects not only Somma, but also other towns, like Lonate Pozzolo, where checks are being made.
The checks have already had results, with a number of formal notices and fines, of €1035 each, issued. The problem is that a car parks earns much more, and a thousand euros is peanuts, when parking hundreds of cars can yield several thousand euros a day. “We’re aware of this,” Mancini continued, “and we intend to change the regulations; we want the temporary areas also to have minimum standards, for example, for the fencing around the spaces, and for a suitable surfaces that stop infiltrations into the ground.” In short, a higher level safety, also for the environment.
In the last few days, a number of sanctions have been imposed, but that is not all. “Reports have been made to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, areas have been seized,” and orders to evacuate (within 24/48 hours) have been issued. The phenomenon is not new; a few years ago, the Public Prosecutor’s Office reconstructed the organisation of the illegal car parks, thanks to the help of the Local Police Forces of Somma and Cardano al Campo, and of the forest and game wardens. There were car parks authorised to hold a few dozen cars that contained hundreds, that had cut down trees to take them. And we must not forget that some of these areas were right inside the Ticino Park.