Drop-off costs at air­port ‘a rip-off’

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Tam­lyn Jones Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

ATAXI driver has slammed park­ing charges at Birmingham Air­port’s new Pre­mium Set Down car park after they rose by 100 per cent overnight.

Neil Brown, who runs Red­ditch­based Mr Taxi, is now calling on the air­port to es­tab­lish a scheme for reg­u­lar users of the transport hub after see­ing the cost in the new ‘pre­mium’ car park rise from £1 to £2 for just ten min­utes.

The air­port opened its new Pre­mium Set Down next to the ter­mi­nal’s main en­trance.

But charges have now risen at the set-down­point, rang­ing from £2 for the first 10 min­utes, ris­ing to £20 for half an hour and an eye-wa­ter­ing £50 for an hour.

But this week a new ‘Drop Off’ car park some dis­tance away near Car Park 5, also opened, of­fer­ing free park­ing for 30 min­utes – though this rises to £30 for the first hour and then £5 per five min­utes after that.

Mr Brown said: “My firm em­ploys five driv­ers and prob­a­bly trav­els to Birmingham Air­port ten or 12 times a day.

“I went there three times dur­ing Mon­day but by the time I had left on the third time it had passed mid­night and the tick­et­ing ma­chine told me I needed an ex­tra £1 to exit the car park.

“The air­port is a to­tal rip-off – where else do you see com­pa­nies jus­ti­fy­ing an in­crease in their prices of 100 per cent?

“It’s the whole prin­ci­ple of it which I ob­ject to. These charges are very dif­fi­cult to pass on to your cus­tomers so we have to ab­sorb them. Most of these air­port jour­neys are booked weeks or months in ad­vance so you can­not re­ally go back to them and ask for more money after agree­ing a price.”

He added: “The free Drop Off car park is sup­posed to be served by free buses from the car park to the ter- mi­nal but there was no sign those run­ning on Mon­day night.

“If you are not very mo­bile or it is pour­ing with rain, would you en­joy this walk?”

The new car park­ing is part of a £100 mil­lion pro­gramme at the Birmingham Air­port to of­fer a range of in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments in­clud­ing hold-bag­gage screen­ing and self-ser­vice check-in.

Birmingham Air­port said: The new Pre­mium Set Down will im­prove traf­fic flows and has the ad­di­tion of wave and pay card pay­ment at exit. It al­lows pas­sen­gers to be dropped off im­me­di­ately ad­ja­cent to the ter­mi­nal, how­ever should pas­sen­gers wish to take ad­van­tage of free drop off a fur­ther new fa­cil­ity has now opened along Air­port Way, ben­e­fit­ing from its own en­trance and exit and al­lows a 30-minute free drop off pe­riod.

“A new walk­way has been cre­ated which al­lows trans­fer to the ter­mi­nal in less than ten min­utes.” of

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