• Uncategorised

Gatwick to charge £5 drop-off fee to ‘help the airport continue its recovery’ – The Independent

Britain's second-biggest airport will charge GBP5 for cars dropping off or picking up passengers from 2021. Gatwick says the fee will promote sustainable travel, and help the airport recover from the coronavirus pandemic. In the first six months of 2020, it lost GBP321m - equivalent to GBP1,225 per minute between January and June.

The chief commercial officer, Jonathan Pollard, said: "Gatwick has just gone through the most challenging period in its history and this new drop off charging scheme will give us a new revenue stream to aid recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. "Gatwick is also committed to promoting sustainable travel and this new scheme will encourage passengers to consider more sustainable transport options, including public transport services or parking options at the airport, which only involves two single car trips, compared to two return trips when dropping off." Around 15 per cent of journeys to and from Gatwick journeys are currently "kiss and fly".

Passengers can be dropped off free of charge at the front entrance to the South or North terminal. 

Watch more

Arriving travellers are supposed to be picked up at a short-term car park, though in practice that does not happen. From next year, Gatwick officials say: "Anyone who does not wish to pay the charge will be able to drop-off or pick-up passengers in the airport's long-stay car parks with two hours' free parking and a free shuttle bus to the terminals." The airport says the move should also cut traffic congestion and emissions at Gatwick and the surrounding area.

While Gatwick's larger rival, Heathrow, does not charge for picking up or dropping off, many of the UK's other big airports have had fees for years.

Manchester, normally the third-busiest, has a fee of GBP3 for five minutes and GBP4 for 10 minutes. Its sister airport, Stansted, charges GBP5 for a drop-off lasting 10 minutes or less - increasing to GBP25 if over 15 minutes - but allows half-an-hour's use of the short-stay car park free of charge for pick-ups. Luton charges GBP4 for 10 minutes and GBP1 per minute thereafter.

It warns: "An GBP95 enforcement charge is payable by drivers who stop their vehicles to drop off passengers on the approach roads, roundabout." One problem at Gatwick is that many local residents are routinely dropped off at the South Terminal entrance in order to access the train station - one of the busiest outside London. It may be that they are offered a postcode-based discount or some kind of season-ticket arrangement.

Gatwick has by far the best rail links of any UK airport. It was planned as London's second airport specifically because of its proximity to the main railway line from the capital to Brighton. Even though the Gatwick Express is currently suspended, there are six fast trains an hour to London and direct links to towns and cities including Hastings, Portsmouth, Reading, Peterborough and Cambridge.

Stansted, due mainly to extensive bus links,  has the highest public transport usage of any major UK airport

You may also like...