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1 November 2018, 11:24
Drop-off charges at Edinburgh Airport are to double in a move management say will tackle congestion.
The charge for 0-5 minutes will increase from £1 to £2 from Thursday November 8 and is expected to reduce the number of cars using the current access road by 480,000 in 2019.
Edinburgh Airport is working with City of Edinburgh Council on a long-term solution to growing congestion problems on Eastfield Road by proposing to build a new access road to the airport.
Research from the airport shows Eastfield Road is already operating at capacity with forecasters estimating by the summer peak in 2019, the route will be at 121% capacity.
Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said he appreciated the increase will not be welcome news for all but he hopes "most will realise the need for action to combat the congestion we currently experience".
The airport anticipates funding the majority of what is expected to be a £10 million project itself, with additional revenue from the drop off increase contributing to the funding.
Mr Dewar said: "We're committed to giving passengers the very best travel experience and this includes their access to and from the airport.
"Our proposals for a new access road which we anticipate funding the majority of will go a long way towards easing the current congestion problems our passengers face, and the consequent environmental impact.
"I appreciate the increase will not be welcome news for all but I'm sure most will realise the need for action to combat the congestion we currently experience not only in the summer but throughout the year.
"We are committed to working with the Council and other partners to ensure that existing and new infrastructure is fit for purpose and will continue to make informed decisions to alleviate congestion now and in the coming months leading up to the peak summer period."
Airport chiefs said that during the peak period in the summers of 2017 and 2018, traffic levels per lane on the road outstripped the busiest days of the Forth Road Bridge in July 2017.
Analysis by the airport found cars using the drop off account for 20% of passengers, but generate 33% of the traffic to the airport.
The current one hour free for blue badge holders will remain across the airport.
The new tariff for 0-5 minutes rises from £1 to £2, while the fee for 5-10 minutes increases from £3 to £4 and 10-20 minutes goes up from £5 to £10.
Lothian Buses commercial director Nigel Serafini said: "As Edinburgh Airport expands and customer demand on our Airport Services grow, we will continue to work in close collaboration with the airport to ensure our services offer direct, reliable, value for money, convenient airport connections.
"Our partnership and expansion in service provides easily accessible citywide vital transport links to and from the airport.
"Feedback from customers has been extremely positive and we look forward to working with the airport on developments which further enhance the experience for our customers."