Edinburgh Airport blasted over £100 fines for drivers picking up friends and relatives in drop-off zone

Edinburgh Airport has said the £100 fines handed out to motorists who have picked up friends and relatives in their drop-off zone are necessary to reduce touting in the airport.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 6:00 am

It said members of the public who make a genuine error and are caught by the cameras at the drop-off zone will not be chased for the fines after one motorist said she received one five months after making the mistake.

Cameras which were introduced as a way to reduce the amount of private hire drivers and taxi drivers touting fares at the airport have been in place since June but several people have been caught out by the new rules which are aimed at businesses operating without authorisation.

One, Sabine Frew, said she received a fine five months after reportedly being caught by the cameras in June.

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Sabine Frew at her home in Edinburgh with the 100 fine.

The 57-year-old said she was worried more fines would be on the way as she continued to pick up family members from the drop-off zone.

She said: “I was unaware of it but [the parking company] said there was signage.

“We have since been online and we have a picture of a sign which shows it but there is so much writing on it there is no way you can be expected to read it all.

“If you have done something for years you are not going to stop and read a bunch of writing.

“I assume there are lots of people in Edinburgh that have received the same fines.”

Mrs Frew said she has been paying her £2 to drop-off and pick up family members at the airport for years and that the changes needed to be more clearly shown.

She said: “It makes me really angry. If it had been clear and there was a clear indication that there was a dedicated pick up zone in a dedicated area, I would not have done it.”

Combating taxi touting

Another driver, Alan McKinnon, received two £100 charge notices last Friday after making two trips to the airport on the same day in July to pick up family members.

The charges were cancelled when he contacted the airport this week but he expressed concern at its actions.

He said: “I’m naturally relieved the fines we received have been waived, but there remains a wider issue about the way in which this scheme has been implemented.

“Is it really just a few others who have been wrongly caught up in this net? Some other people may have allowed themselves to be bullied by the tone of the charge notice into paying the fine.”

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said those that make a genuine error and receive a fine should contact them before paying.

He said: “We have a responsibility to ensure the safety of passengers and staff in all areas of the airport and to seek to achieve consistent operations.

“We introduced these measures to combat taxi touting and tailgating in our drop-off zone as these practices are illegal, unsafe and impact the taxi service at the airport. The system managed by VCS captures all pick-ups in the drop-off zone, however at this time our intention is only to issue penalty notices to people operating a business and misusing the drop-off zone.

“Penalty notices that have been issued to non-business operators may be reviewed.

“Frequent misuse remains an issue and we remind people to adhere to the rules and only pick up and drop off in the designated areas."