Motorists are outraged after free waiting time at Newcastle airport was cut to just five minutes. Following the five minute cut-off point, drivers will then be charged upwards of £1 for waiting in the airport’s pick-up/ drop-off point.
The changes have angered local taxi drivers who have said that it is ‘virtually impossible’ to leave the parking area in just five minutes. According to Paul Irwin, managing director of Eastcoast taxis, the reductions throw “one hell of a hurdle” in the way of taxi companies serving the airport. He said that five minutes is not enough time to locate the passenger for pick-up and then get out of the airport, given the amount of traffic usually waiting to leave the car-park. He added that if the waiting time is not increased, car-park charges would end up being passed onto passengers, which is less than ideal.
In response to the complaints, bosses at Newcastle Airport have argued that the new exit and entry points now allow vehicles to pass through the car park more quickly, justifying the reduction. George Nesbitt, Head of Car Parking at the airport, was in agreement, saying that the investments made to the car-park would allow the same number of people to be processed free of charge as when the waiting limit was ten minutes. He said, “(for taxis) I’m confident that five minutes to drop off is very achievable and five minutes to pick up, if the customer is waiting, is also achievable.”
The waiting time reductions began on June 1st.