Airport mulls £1 drop-off charge

Edinburgh is set to become the second airport in as many months to implement a mandatory £1 levy for all drivers who use the site’s drop-off zones.

The Scottish hub, which is owned by BAA, will continue to operate a free drop-off area, albeit at some distance from the main terminal.

Parking charges are never popular. The high cost of airport parking spaces has been the subject of a number of investigations, not least of which is a recent survey by Which? magazine. The consumer watchdog discovered that Heathrow’s on-site parking costs up to £89, almost three times the price of a space at Liverpool or Bristol.

Newcastle was one of the first UK airports to introduce the controversial £1 parking charge, but a lacklustre advertising campaign left many travellers unaware of the levy until they tried to exit the site. Local taxi drivers called the scheme ‘disgraceful’, noting ‘chaotic’ scenes around the airport’s terminal.

Edinburgh’s new parking tariff appears to be identical to the one unveiled at Newcastle in May. Neighbour and close rival Glasgow Airport is also considering a change to its parking charges, but the outcry from Scottish drivers could stop both schemes from getting off the ground.

The Edinburgh Taxi Association (ETA) has warned that cabbies might start dropping customers off outside the airport’s perimeter, in an effort to avoid paying £1 for a stay of just a few minutes. ‘This is grossly unfair’, Raymond Davidson, secretary for the ETA, explained. ‘Taxi drivers will be up in arms about this. This is, quite frankly, outrageous.’

Airport bosses claim that the plan is still under consideration, but alterations to Edinburgh’s forecourt and the roads surrounding the airport are expected in the coming months. The Scottish hub has promised to hold talks with customers and stakeholders before implementing any drastic changes.

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