Gatwick Airport to introduce charges for vehicles using its forecourts next year
Anyone who does not wish to pay the charge will be able to drop off or pick up passengers in the airport’s long stay car parks with two hours free parking and a free shuttle bus to the terminals.
Currently, cars are permitted to drop off passengers directly in front of both terminals. People picking up passengers are required to use the short stay car park, although this does not always happen, and some people use the forecourt to pick up.
A £5 charge will therefore be introduced for vehicles using the forecourt. This charge will help Gatwick continue to meet its commitment to reduce ‘Kiss and Fly’ the least sustainable type of journey to the airport as it involves two return car journeys while also further encouraging public transport use and potentially cutting road traffic congestion and emissions at Gatwick and surrounding local areas.
Currently around 15% of airport journeys are ‘Kiss and Fly’.
Gatwick is looking at solutions to allow those who regularly drop off and pick up at the South Terminal each day to access to the train station to make a token annual payment contribution. Suitable solutions for Blue Badge holder’s convenience are also being looked at.
Reducing the airport’s environmental impact continues to be an important focus and Gatwick plans to put a proportion of the revenue into Gatwick’s existing Sustainable Transport Fund.
No date has been set to introduce the new charging system but the first step includes a consultation on the implementation of a Red Route system across the airport campus to indicate that stopping to park, load or unload, board or alight from a vehicle is prohibited. Revenue raised through Red Route fines will also be used to fund sustainable transport initiatives under the guidance of the airport’s Transport Steering Group, which includes external local representatives.
Gatwick also remains committed to its investment in the ongoing £150 million project to upgrade the airport’s train station, which will make connections to other destinations easier by doubling the size of the station concourse, adding five new lifts and eight escalators to improve passenger flow, and widening two platforms to reduce overcrowding. ■