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'Why are they charging? It's crazy, it's just another tax' first day of 'kiss and fly' drop-off charge at airport met with mixed reaction from drivers and cabbies.

Byline: CHARLOTTE COX charlotte.cox@men-news.co.uk @ccoxmenmedia

SOME passengers and staff have branded new drop-off charges at Manchester Airport 'crazy' and 'stupid' - while others have praised the new system for being organised and efficient.

From yesterday, drivers carrying out 'kiss and fly' drop-offs are being charged PS3 for five-minute stays or PS4 for ten minutes, while stays over 10 minutes incur a fine of PS25.

Drivers are offered the alternative of using a free drop-off area at Jetparks 1, before catching a shuttle bus to their terminal.

The scheme has courted controversy - but airport bosses have insisted it's aimed at relieving crippling congestion around the site. The M.E.N spoke to passengers at the airport yesterday paying the charge to use the drop-off bays.

Tim Griffiths, 45, an airline pilot, said: "There's just no need for it. I think people should boycott flights in protest.

"Why are they charging? It's crazy, a rip-off. It's just another tax. How is it helping congestion to charge? If you want to improve that then make the infrastructure better." Gary Martland, 41, and his partner, Mel York, had just been dropped off.

Gary said: "It's a bit stupid to charge for that. It doesn't make sense and it should be free."

Tom Wilson, 23, works at the airport's World Duty Free.

He says the new charges have added PS3 to his 3.45am taxi journey to work from Wythenshawe, with cabbies passing on the new fees to passengers.

He added: "It's gone from PS5 to PS8 and if I used the Jetparks free zone then it's further, so the price would be PS8.50. So I'm paying PS15 extra.

"I can apply for a staff permit but that only works with two registration plates, so wouldn't work with taxis. I really think more thought should have been put into how this affects staff."

Mike Withy, 64, a local govern-ment officer from the Wirral, meanwhile, was in favour of the new system. "I support them - it stops people causing problems by parking up on double yellows to drop off and causing disruption for everyone else.

"It will be even better if they invest it back into the airport and don't just take it for profit. I'm okay with it, though. It's efficient and provides equality for all people dropping off, which I think can only be a good thing."

Other passengers were ambivalent. Phil Sanders, 67, a semi-retired business owner from Appleton, said: "It's very expensive to just pull up and then pull away again. But we're not that bothered, it does seem quite organised."

What you Write to: M.E.N, Mitchell House, Hollinwood Oldham, Or email: @men-news.

Another passenger added: "It's not ideal but I don't mind - I will mind if they put the charge up to PS10, though."

There has been no change to arrangements for picking people up, with those collecting passengers asked to park in the car parks at each terminal, which cost PS4 for 30 minutes.

Hackney drivers, meanwhile, have been boycotting the terminals in protest against their T3 rank being moved 'out of sight' to make way for the new drop-off bays. Unite members say they will continue action until the airport listens to their concerns. They marched around the terminals waving flags and chanting yesterday.

Tricia Williams, chief operating officer of Manchester Airport, said: "Manchester Airport has seen a significant increase in passenger volumes in the past five years and is heavily investing in further growth and improvements to the customer experience, most notably through our PS1bn transformation programme.

do "This growth, coupled with imposed security restrictions on forecourt capacity and an inability to increase available space, has led to extreme congestion around the estate, especially at peak times. It became clear we had to take a more proactive approach to managing think? Viewpoints, Henry Ave, OL9 8EF viewpoints co.uk this, as Manchester Airport continues to grow, which is why we have introduced this forecourt management system.

"We are committed to ensuring people can still be dropped off for free at the airport, which is why we have invested in the creation of a dedicated drop-off site and free shuttle service.

"The location of the site has been carefully chosen due to its proximity to all terminal and the motorway network."

to just pull it if up no capacity increase has which What do you think? Write to: Viewpoints, M.E.N, Mitchell Henry House, Hollinwood Ave, Oldham, OL9 8EF Or email: viewpoints @men-news.co.uk

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The first day of charging for passengers being dropped off at Manchester Airport's Terminal 3
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Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 11, 2018
Words:770
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