Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton Airport drop-off charge criticised by taxi firm

Southampton Airport
Image caption The airport conducted a 'full review' of all its facilities

Plans to introduce pick-up and drop-off charges at Southampton Airport have been criticised by the city's largest taxi firm.

Motorists, including taxi drivers, will be charged £1 to access the ground floor of the short stay car park opposite the terminal building.

Director of Radio Taxis, Perry McMillan said it was likely the charges "will get passed back to the customer".

The airport said the fees would "support future investment".

In a statement it said following a "full review of all facilities" the £1 charge would be introduced from September.

'Inconvenience all round'

Free drop-off and pick-up will still be available at the long stay car park, but passengers will need to take a shuttle bus to get to and from the terminal.

Mr McMillan, whose firm employs 450 drivers, described the plan as a "money-making scheme" and called for an exemption for taxis.

"We're in a tip-driven industry where it will hit our earnings. It's just an inconvenience all round.

"We're all proud to have an airport and it brings in a lot of work to everyone, but let's have a process where they appreciate we're bringing their customers to them and getting them home safely," he added.

The airport said the charge replaces the current regulations in which taxi drivers are not allowed to return to the airport within 30 minutes of dropping off or picking up.

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