On Monday 20 May, East Midlands Airport changed the drop off tariff fee from 10 minutes for £2 to five minutes for £2, and now taxi drivers are speaking out about what they describe as an "absolutely ridiculous" decision.
If drivers exceed the first five minutes, they will then face an additional £1 per minute until they leave.
As reported by the Nottingham Post, an East Midlands Airport spokesman said that the decision to change the tariff was to reduce congestion which builds due to drivers who spend too much time dropping off.
One taxi driver who has been working the trade for 23 years has said that giving only five minutes to drop passengers off is making it hard to do the job properly because he is having to rush his customers out to avoid extortionate fees.
The driver, who works the airport often, said that the decision is not warranted and will leave himself, other taxi drivers and members of the public out of pocket.
He added: "I pride myself on my customer service. I feel like I'm not able to do my job properly now and have to rush people out the taxi and to the door so I don't get charged extortionately. It's just a money-making scheme".
He pointed out that there is a free parking for an hour location on airport grounds, but it is so far away that customers would have to catch a shuttle bus or face a long walk.
Andy Tyler Smith, East Midlands Airport’s customer services and security director, said: “Passengers being dropped off at the forecourt are subject to a charge. This is designed to reduce traffic congestion at the airport and surrounding roads, making the site safer, while encouraging increased use of alternative, more sustainable transport options.
"The rapid drop off parking provides the most convenient access to the airport’s terminal. Over 80 percent of current users are in and out of rapid drop off in less than five minutes.
"Reducing the 10 minute wait to five minutes will continue to improve the effectiveness of this facility allowing more vehicles to get in and out quicker.
“Drivers who wish to wait longer can park free of charge for one hour in 'Long Stay 2' which is situated near the airport bus stop at the west side of the airport site.
"A frequent, free bus service takes passengers to and from the main terminal entrance within 5 minutes or, by foot, it’s a 15 minute walk.
"Vehicles carrying disabled passengers who have a Blue Badge can park free of charge for 30 minutes in 'Short Stay 1', the closest car park to the both departures and arrivals.”
Image: Source; Geograph
Image: Author; Robin Stott