CHARGES for long-term parking near Edinburgh Airport may be set to rise after a decision to charge shuttle buses £5 every time they ferry passengers into the hub.
The £5 fee will have to be paid every time one of the courtesy 24-hour shuttle buses that service nearby car parks enters the coach area near the main terminal to drop off passengers.
At least four firms offering parking around the airport – NCP, Edinburgh Secure Air Parks, Flying Scot, and Park and Fly Edinburgh – will be hit when it comes into effect next month.
Shuttle buses run by the companies travel to and from the airport up to almost 100 times a day, meaning the charge would cost each firm as much as £500 daily, despite vehicles often spending no more than five minutes at a time near the terminal.
Overall, the levy could rake in as much as £730,000 a year. The companies have previously paid a reduced annual charge to owners Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).
The move has angered parking operators, who said the charge would have to be passed on in the form of higher parking rates. One manager said: “It goes without saying that the increased cost for the operator would almost certainly ultimately impact on the price that the consumer pays.”
Parking on sites run by GIP will not be hit with the new charges. However, passengers using long-term parking – who can pay as little as £3.49 a day if booked in advance to leave their vehicle near the airport – will be affected.
Edinburgh Western MSP Colin Keir said: “If the costs for parking went from £3.49 a day to £15, then there’s definitely a problem. This is a commercial arrangement between the airport and parking operators and it is understandable, so long as people are not getting ripped off.”
The tariff is being introduced with the airport having also started charging taxi drivers a £1 entry fee every time they drop off or pick up a passenger from April 15.
Central Taxis director Tony Kenmuir said: “It comes as no surprise that the charges are going to increase steadily.”
An airport spokesman said: “It is right that the coach park charge is amended to ensure that there is a consistency in the charge to use our facilities and that our investments in ensuring growth for all at Edinburgh Airport are supported by our partners.”
Tax added to flights elsewhere
NORWICH International Airport outraged passengers by introducing a development fee to pay for upgrades at the facility and maintain its route network.
The tax, brought in six years ago, requires all adult passengers departing from the airport to pay a £10 charge. Payment machines in the terminal issue a bar-coded ticket needed to pass through security into the departure lounge. Children under 15 do not have to pay the tax.
A Norwich passenger action group went live earlier this year following the introduction of the fee.