Manchester Airport has confirmed further details of its plans to tackle congestion in the areas directly outside of its terminals after it announced in March that it will begin to charge for drop-offs.
From June, vehicles dropping passengers off at Manchester Airport will be charged £3 for up to five minutes or £4 for a maximum of 10 minutes.
The airport is also launching a new drop-off zone, from where passengers can be transferred to all of its terminals free of charge.
An exact date in June for the system being introduced is still to be confirmed but will be communicated in advance.
The airport says there will be no change to arrangements for picking people up, with those collecting passengers asked to park in the car parks at each terminal (costing £4 for 30 minutes).
Since announcing the plans, Manchester Airport has listened to feedback and engaged with a range of groups as it finalises its introduction of the system.
The airport has also confirmed arrangements for passengers with reduced mobility, local users of the airport station and commercial operators – such as private hire taxi firms.
Having liaised with disability groups and looked at similar schemes across the UK, the airport has confirmed that Blue Badge holders will be able to drop-off outside the terminals free of charge.
Non-Blue Badge holders who have booked special assistance can use the free drop-off site, where there will be a dedicated help point to communicate with the airport’s assistance provider OCS.
All buses travelling to and from the terminals from this location are wheelchair accessible.
A scheme for people living near to the airport who use its Ground Transport Interchange to travel in and out of Manchester and surrounding areas has also been developed, following discussions with stakeholders in these communities.
The scheme allows people in certain postcodes to apply for a permit, giving them access to the station free of charge for an annual fee of £30.
The postcodes covered are M22 0, M22 1, M22 4, M22 5, M22 8, M22 9, M23 0, M23 1, M23 2, M23 9, SK9 4, SK9 5, WA15 0, WA15 7, WA15 8, WA16 6, WA16 7.
Further details can be found here.
A discount scheme will also be set up for commercial private hire operators who are frequent users of the airport.
The scheme already exists for pick-up within car parks and will now offer discounted access to the forecourts, for drop-off.
The airport has been communicating directly with this group of users and will continue to do so. Further details can be found here.
Tricia Williams, COO 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 £1bn transformation programme.”
She continued: “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 this, as Manchester Airport continues to grow, which is why we are introducing a forecourt management system, including a dedicated free site for people to be dropped-off at.
“We have listened carefully to issues raised by passengers since announcing our plans and have been able to respond to many of the concerns raised through the measures being announced today.
“We will announce any further details, including the exact date the system will be introduced, at the earliest opportunity.”
Proceeds from the forecourt management scheme will go into a new public transport fund being set up by the airport.
This will be used to support measures to improve access to the site for employment opportunities as well as passengers using public transport.
The airport will be working in partnership with Cheshire East Council, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Transport for Greater Manchester to administer the fund.
Airport users can find out more information about pick-up and drop-off arrangements here.