Airport criticised over parking plans

A move to scrap free parking at Belfast International Airport has been criticised by a consumer watchdog.

The General Consumers' Council has warned the decision to abolish the 10-minute free parking for those picking up friends and relatives would ultimately create more congestion at the terminal, and endanger safety at the County Antrim site.

A spokeswoman for the council, said: "Originally we wanted the free period extended as opposed to a charge being introduced.

"Our concern is that the airport is forcing people to pay and park or else park illegally which has implications for the environment, safety and congestion."

Currently it costs �1.50 for up to 30 minutes and double this cost for up to an hour. This is lower than tariffs at Belfast City, Glasgow, Birmingham and other UK airports.

Airport authorities, however have insisted the measure should provide clarity over parking and will also reduce traffic.

Managing Director of the airport, John Doran said: "We have been monitoring the situation for some months and the vast majority of people using free ten minutes are actually incurring unnecessary charges by staying over the 10 minutes when they park."


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