Sunday, 29 January 2017

Glasgow Airport introduces controversial 'kiss and drop' parking charges

Glasgow Airport has invited the ire of travellers after introducing a “kiss-and-drop” charge of £2 for anyone ferrying friends or family to the terminal entrance.

The levy is expected to be introduced at the end of April when a new multi-million pound pick-up and drop-off facility opens at the Scottish airport.

Motorists staying up to 10 minutes will have to pay £2. A spokesperson for the airport said anyone staying longer would be subject to “an incremental charge”.

Pick-up charges – £2 for 10 minutes or £3 for 20 – have been in place at the airport, the UK’s eighth busiest, since 2010. The airport handles 9.2 million passengers a year.

A petition against the fee has already been launched, collecting nearly 600 signatures in 24 hours. John Simm, who started the petition, accused the airport of implementing a “money-making scheme”.

The motoring association, the RAC, called the “sky-high charges… unnecessarily punitive”.

But Glasgow said the charges were necessary to address congestion issues in the area.

At a glance | Kiss-and-drop charges around the country

AirportChargeCost per minute
Glasgow£2 for 10 minutes20p
Luton£3 for 10 minutes30p
Heathrow£3.80 for 30 minutes13p
Gatwick£3.50 for 30 minutes12p
Manchester (T1)£4 for 30 minutes13p
Stansted£3 for 10 minutes30p
Edinburgh (pick-up)£3.90 for 15 minutes26p
Edinburgh (drop-off)£3 for 10 minutes30p
Birmingham£1 for 10 minutes10p
“I appreciate that not everyone will be supportive of the new charging structure, however, we will always continue to provide a free option [in the long-stay car park],” said Amanda McMillan, managing director.

“We have resisted introducing a drop-off charge despite most airports of our size having similar arrangements in place for many years, however, having exhausted all possible alternatives we have now reached a point whereby a chargeable facility is the only way to address congestion, discourage non-airport traffic and encourage best use of our road network.”

She said that the current drop-off area suffers from congestion on a daily basis and is “simply no longer fit for purpose”.

“It was implemented at a time when we were carrying 6.5 million passengers, however, we have since enjoyed sustained growth and are now fast approaching the 10 million mark,” she added.

Pick-up and drop-off fees are used by airports across the UK, with Luton among the most expensive, charging £3 for 10 minutes and £1 per minute thereafter. A 20-minute stay would cost £13. London Heathrow charges £3.80 for 30 minutes, London Gatwick £3.50 for the same length of time, while Manchester charges £4 for 30 minutes outside T1.

London Stansted charges £3 for 10 minutes, with a £50 penalty for anyone staying longer.

In 2015, then-Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport Robert Goodwill heaped praise on the charges, claiming they encouraged passengers to take public transport to the airport.

(Source: The Telegraph)

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