The inhabitants of Świnoujście blocked the entrance to the city on Saturday, demanding a reaction and taking action in connection with the closure of the area around the gas terminal there. The sudden decision cut off the road leading to the beach and two important attractions, which is likely to hit urban tourism hard.
From Thursday, April 13, an indefinite ban on staying in the zone of up to 200 meters around the LNG terminal in Świnoujście, introduced by the West Pomeranian Voivode Zbigniew Bogucki, has been in force. This decision closes land access to the city’s tourist attractions and many guesthouses. Ku Morzu Street, which has been closed, is a public road in the right-bank district of Świnoujście, which runs along the onshore part of the LNG terminal. The street is the only land route that can take you to the lighthouse and Gerhard’s Fort.
– These are our two greatest monuments. There is no access to them, the entire right bank will not be able to use the beach. You can’t even get there by public transport. The tragedy of the right bank is that the owners cannot earn money, the season will be lost for them – Janusz Żmurkiewicz, the president of Świnoujście, is worried.
On the ice
This decision will primarily affect the residents of the right-bank part of Świnoujście, who live from tourism, mainly from renting rooms.
– The situation of the inhabitants has changed a lot now, everyone is disgusted. I am the father of a two-year-old and I can’t imagine going to the beach with my child anywhere else when we were close here. The season is about to start. This area will die, and it is already dying. We are deprived of money – said Wojciech Polak, chairman of the board of the Warsz estate, a few days ago.
– It fell on us like a thunderbolt from the blue. It could have been thought through, an alternative route could be made, and not overnight we were deprived of access to the sea – added Mikołaj Rzanny, the owner of the holiday resort “Wczasy Wagonagon” in Świnoujście, which has already had several reservations cancelled.
People are fighting for theirs
The inhabitants of Świnoujście do not intend to wait with their arms folded for someone to look at their problem. On Saturday, crowds gathered in the area of the Świnoujście – Łunowo roundabout and blocked the entrance to the city – the road that leads to both local ferry crossings. They walked on pedestrian crossings with flags and banners, preventing traffic on the roads.
“Beach, freedom and freedom, this comfort is no longer for us” – reads one of the banners.
– We were denied the only access to the beach. All the arrangements that were made several years ago when the gas terminal was built have been broken – says Dariusz Krzywda, one of the city’s residents.
As TVN24 reporter Alicja Rucińska explains, reporting on the residents’ protest, when the gas terminal was built, it was this access road to the beach that was supposed to be one of the compensations for “locals”. Now that compensation has been taken away from them.
Will there be temporary solutions?
Closing the area around the LNG terminal does not mean that Świnoujście has been completely deprived of access to the beach. The spa district, the promenade and the main guarded beach are still within reach of tourists and residents. However, it is a poor consolation for the inhabitants of the right bank.
Before the May weekend, the town hall and the Gaz-System company are trying to provide tourists with access to the beach and the most important city attractions in an accelerated mode. On Thursday, Barbara Michalska, deputy mayor of Świnoujście, said that “the bad news is that it cannot be done quickly. The good news is that all institutions want to cooperate with each other.”
– Gaz-System undertook to launch free water transport (to monuments – editor’s note) on the May long weekend, from April 29 to May 7 – she said. However, it is not known in what form this will ultimately be implemented.
Main photo source: TVN24