SWIMMERS at Stirling’s Terry Tyzack Aquatic Centre say they’re frustrated by congested pools and lack of lane availability at peak times.
Mary Lanigan and her husband were disappointed to discover, after splashing out on a hefty premium for a peak membership, that most lanes were occupied by the Learn to Swim program.
She says that on several occasions only two lanes were available in the inside pool, and they were being used for laps and physic, and the only two free lanes outside were occupied by fast swimmers and learners.
Mrs Lanigan has had several skin cancers cut off her back so using the outdoor pool is not an option.
She says the lack of availability is a safety concern as swimmers with different abilities are forced to share lanes.
“There were about eight people swimming in an available lane and with them all at different speed capabilities so you can imagine how many people were crashing into each other.
“The centre staff say it is not unusual to have at least eight people in the one lane,” Mrs Lanigan says.
The Stirling resident said she complained to Terry Tyzack staff and was told it was the norm “between 3 or 3.30pm, everyday, until 6.30pm. I was told by the centre manager that day that she had many complaints the same, and agreed it was not right but the centre got more money from the learn to swim than from us.”
Stirling council leisure services manager Simone Pastor says there is always a minimum of five lanes accessible to the general public.
“Generally, 3.30pm to 6.30pm is a peak period for Learn to Swim lessons as it is after school and before children’s bed time,” she said. “Members are informed of the variety of users and where to access lane availability on the website should they enquire about the best time to visit the facility.”
Ms Pastor would not confirm how many people can safely share one lane, saying it depends on swimmer’s abilities.
Terry Tyzack members who wish to use the pool at peak times not only have to compete with the Learn to Swim kids, but have to fork out an extra $168 per year on top of the $684 membership fee.
“Of course I am all for children learning to swim but I also feel like I have been ripped off in my membership,” Mrs Lanigan says.
“One lane in peak time is not what I expected.”
by CHARLIE SMITH