Thousands oppose ‘drop-off rip-off’

Edinburgh Airport’s new director has been inundated with requests to axe the hub’s £1 drop-off fee. New chief, Kevin Brown, will replace Gordon Dewar, the man behind the controversial levy, on Monday.

Local travellers will be hoping that Brown can adopt a service-orientated approach to airport business, rather than focusing on profitability.

Edinburgh officials previously claimed that the £1 charge was to stop people using ‘kiss and fly’ areas, but angry customers have accused the hub’s owner, the British Airports Authority (BAA), of profiteering.

The scheme’s critics, which include every political party in Scotland, according to the Scotsman newspaper, have collected thousands of signatures from people petitioning to have the parking fee removed.

“My constituents are extremely unhappy about the drop-off charge.” Lothians MP, Gavin Brown, explained in a letter to Edinburgh Airport. “I have received representations from every corner of the Lothians urging me to campaign vigorously against the levy.” The MP referred to the parking plan as a ‘drop-off rip-off.’

Glasgow and Aberdeen airports, also owned by the BAA, have refused to introduce a similar parking scheme, which has heaped pressure on Edinburgh bosses.

In England, Newcastle was the first UK airport to enforce drop-off fees when it axed its free parking zone in April. East Midlands Airport reconfigured its car parks earlier this month, and introduced a £1 drop-off fee of its own.

Edinburgh’s desire to remove traditional kiss and fly areas suggests that bosses want to ease congestion by forcing travellers to use public transport.

However, local Liberal Democrat MP, Alison McInnes, is concerned that the city’s bus routes are insufficient to support the plan, especially for those living in the outskirts of the Scottish capital.

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