Monday, July 26, 2010

Stop BAA taxing elderly, disabled and families at Edinburgh Airport

I am not best pleased that BAA have decided to charge £1 for access to a drop-off area close to the terminal at Edinburgh Airport.

They try to say that there will be a free drop-off area at the long stay car park and people can get a bus to the airport.

Oh well, that's fine then.

Or at least it's fine if you're young, fit, male and flying without young children.

If you're disabled you might be able to struggle to get a bus in the Summer, assuming that they provide wheelchair accessible buses but what if you have to wait for ages in the cold and dark in the Winter?

Ditto if you're elderly.

If you're female, you may not want to stand potentially alone on a dark Winter's morning for safety reasons.

If you have young children, even if there are two of you, managing a toddler and a baby, plus car seat and buggy out of the car that drops you off and on to a bus is going to be a nightmare.

So it's those groups who will be paying the charge.

Your affluent professional worker travelling alone will be able to avoid this tax with ease.

That's why BAA's decision to make a fast buck out of people by imposing this charge is completely and utterly wrong. I'm glad to see that Edinburgh West Liberal Democrat MP Mike Crockart and MSP Margaret Smith are campaigning against it.

If you agree with them, please join me in signing their petition here.


Griffiths said...

I'll admit I seem to be swimming against the tide, but I have no problem with this. The Airport bus from Waverley Bridge/Haymarket is excellent and very frequent. Easier and more pleasant, frankly, than the planes at the other end. (And free to those with Ridercards - including, therefore the elderly and disabled)

I also seem to remember considering an airport minibus/collective taxi that picks a number of people up before going to the airport. (Presumably therefore splitting the drop off fee) - this was cheaper than a standard taxi, and for a family probably cheaper than the bus as well (unless everyone had ridercards).

In short Edinburgh is the bext connected Airport I've used, so if any can get away with a drop-off charge, I'd say this one can.

Unknown said...

Griffiths, I'm not sure if someone living in Silverknowes or Blackhall would want to take public transport into town to get the bus if they have a friend/family member who could drop them and all their luggage off.

Same for people living in West Lothian.

If BAA want to recoup their building costs, why don't they find a method of charging that affects people equally, not picks on those who find it more difficult to use a bus service from a long stay car park.

Griffiths said...

Bus into town (actually the Silverknowes bus, but from closer in), and then onto the airport bus is how I've gotten to and from the Airport. I also note that there is an express Airport bus running from Fife, and I strongly suspect others running from elsewhere. plus the Lothian Network.

I'm not saying this is the best way of raising funds, and have reletively little interest in how BAA manages this, but I confess the fuss is baffling to me. This isn't on the scale as some of the more ridiculous and grasping airline 'extras' (tax, fuel etc). It is a tiny levy which many people already avoid, and everybody could avoid if they wanted to.

Commentators are behaving as if there is some kind of right to drop people off at an airport without paying, but I just don't see it.

I can see why Local Lib Dems are pushing this, but ultimately it is a weak fight, and their are more principled stands that we should all be taking.


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