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Pay to Drop-Off Passengers Program May Expand in U.K.

Lauded by the British government as a pollution-reducing initiative, the plan to expand airport drop-off fees has drawn intense criticism from members of the public.

Despite their widespread unpopularity, it appears that the drop-off fees currently in place at some of Britain’s airports are not going away. In fact, if government ministers have their way, these charges could soon be levied at other sites. While they have been lauded as an effective way to improve air quality around the nation’s airports, these fees have only served to anger passengers and their families.

London’s Luton Airport (LTN) was the first to introduce these “kiss-and-drop” charges back in 2009, levying a fee of £1 (USD $1.50) for a 15-minute stay against drivers seeing off loved ones. Since then, LTN has raised these charges to £2.50 (US $3.80) and in that time, other British airports have also begun to issue fees of their own.

Drivers can now expect to be charged for dropping off passengers at Newcastle, Exeter, Edinburgh, East Midlands and Birmingham airports. Meanwhile, Glasgow Airport (GLA) also charges a fee for picking up arriving passengers.

But Member of Parliament (MP) Robert Goodwill, the U.K.’s Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, believes that these fees will encourage passengers to take public transport to and from the airport.

As reported in the Telegraph, he recently told the country’s Transport Select Committee that, “A number of airports…have a £2 or £3 drop-off fee. That not only raises revenue for the airport and helps the airport with the cost of security — drop-offs are a particular security issue — but also makes a little additional argument for using public transport to get to an airport.”

He added that, “If we provide reliable, clean and cost-effective public transport solutions, whether that be bus or train, people will take that option.”

However, members of the public were keen to share their opinion on these charges. Driver Roy Farrant tweeted, “Stupid proposal. How do…I get two adults and two children from rural Wiltshire to drop off at Heathrow?”

Additionally, as passengers in many areas face inadequate transport links to their local airports, the government’s plans to roll-out drop-off fees have drawn intense criticism from around the country.

[Photo: Getty]

Comments are Closed.
aidy December 1, 2015

If they had a half decent public transport network (LTN, EMA, BRSetc) or not like the rest with the stupid prices, people would take public transport!!

rahosi November 29, 2015

Rural Wiltshire to Heathrow? Probably easier than North or NW London to Heathrow!

Sydneyberlin November 26, 2015

Hardly anything makes me more angry than incompetent politicians raising fees for car drivers to stuff their holes in the budget pretending it is to 'save the environment'. If you want to 'make a little additional argument for using public transport to get to an airport', then why do you not improve public transport, Mr. Politician?

o mikros November 25, 2015

Actually, the tolls in Chicago are only if you're heading *away* from the city on 294 or 90W. Leaving from the airport for downtown (on 90E) you pay nothing.

Lakeviewsteve November 25, 2015

Most? Really? I've been to many airports and have only seen tolls in Chicago and NYC. Where are the most you are talking about?