Bristol Airport set to bring back free passenger drop-off point
PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 January 2019
Bristol Airport will bring back a free drop-off point and create a waiting area for taxis - but only if its major expansion plans are approved by North Somerset Council.
The airport removed its 10-minute free pick-up point at its car park in May 2011, with visitors instead having to pay.
But its new plans would see a free passenger ‘drop-and-go’ point and authorised waiting area for taxis created, to replace the Express Drop-Off zone which lets drivers drop passengers off but charges £1 for 10 minutes.
The plans form part of the airport’s proposals for the community section 106 agreement, and is dependant on the airport getting approval to expand beyond its present 10 million passengers a year cap.
The proposal comes after neighbours to the airport complained of cars clogging up roads, with drivers parking in laybys and residential streets to avoid parking charges at the airport.
Some have even claimed passengers’ cars had stopped them accessing their homes.
Simon Earles, Bristol Airport’s planning and sustainability director, said: “We have listened to feedback from our neighbours and this commitment to introduce an on-site waiting area for taxis and a free drop-off facility for private vehicles shows we are taking the issues they have raised seriously.”
He added: “Work is now underway to find the right location for the proposed facility and set appropriate time limits in consultation with private hire operators.”
The airport submitted a planning application to the council around Christmas time to build the infrastructure necessary for it to accommodate an extra two million passengers per year by 2025; bringing its capacity up to 12 million passengers per year.
However, the Parish Councils Airport Association (PCAA) has claimed the plans will cause ‘severe congestion and gridlock’ on rural roads and lanes.
Mr Earles said the airport is taking people’s concerns about the growth of the airport seriously.
He said: “By accommodating waiting taxis on site and providing a free alternative for private vehicles dropping off passengers, we aim to reduce the impact of growth on local villages.”