Rage over drivers avoiding airport parking fees by leaving cars on residential streets
Families and friends of vacationers trying to avoid high parking fees at the airport are wreaking havoc by leaving their cars for hours on nearby residential streets to drop off their passengers.
The problem has gotten so bad lately that locals say some people, in an effort to get their thefts and avoid parking fees, are stopping on the double yellow lines, across residents’ driveways and even on the central reservations of two-lane lanes. This growing practice is also said to create congestion, noise and litter issues in the area. Some locals say they have watched in disbelief as people sneak into private gardens to urinate.
The problem, residents say, is getting worse at Liverpool John Lennon Airport. Residents of Hale Road and Hale Drive in Speke said their streets have become popular drop-off points for motorists who want to avoid airport parking fees.
Terminal car park operators charge £4 for a person to park directly opposite the terminal for up to 10 minutes, £10 for up to 20 minutes and £25 for up to one hour. Liverpool Airport says there is a free drop-off point about the same walking distance from the airport terminal as Hale Road, but although this area is free for up to 40 minutes, the charge is then at £8 per hour.
Anthony Brown, 73, who has lived in the area for 31 years, told the Liverpool Echo: “It’s very frustrating. They park between ours and the car next door and you can’t get your car out. It varies every day – it’s early morning and late evening, you have nothing and then there’s a typhoon [of cars] – it seems to happen when you’re sitting down watching something or reading.”
This forced Mr Brown to move into the bedroom at the back of his house due to the noise of people parking outside his house to catch early morning or late night flights. He said: “Noise – it’s going to affect house prices. They’re not high in Speke anyway. I go out for 20 minutes, come back and can’t park in front of my house, I have to go park down the road.
“It’s not just about dropping people off, they’re getting in [the airport] with them and they could stay there until the end of the flight. And when they leave, someone else comes in.”
Mr Brown added that some drivers were also dumping trash they had accumulated on the journey to the airport, including McDonald’s and KFC wrappers and even beer bottles, onto the pavement. He said he even saw a woman squatting to urinate in the central storeroom saw a man urinating in a neighbour’s garden.
He said: “They leave carts where the cars normally park – something like that, we push down the road to the airport limits where the buses come in. Sometimes you get out and there’s three or four wagons. They might be there for a day or two.”
He said he had contacted Liverpool City Council on several occasions about the situation, but the problems had not gone away. He added that he wanted to see the council issue parking permits to residents and deploy traffic wardens to the area to crack down on the number of illegal parking lots.
Former resident Michael Cox, 52, said he decided to leave his Hale Road home four years ago because of the number of people parking outside. “They were parking on the other side of your driveway. I said ‘you park on the other side of my driveway’ and they said ‘I’ll only be in 10 minutes’. You’re flooded from 60 to 70 cars a day. They sit there for two hours sometimes,” he said.
An airport spokesperson said: ‘We share residents’ frustration at the behavior of some drivers who choose to park on public roads near the airport when picking up or dropping off passengers. while we have on-site car parks specifically for this purpose. This includes free drop-off parking for those who don’t want to pay for the convenience of being close to the terminal, with parking available for up to 40 minutes free of charge.
“It’s only a short walk to the terminal, but a similar distance to where cars park on local public roads, and our car park has a carport for passengers waiting to be picked up in bad weather Unfortunately, because some cars choose to park on public roads outside the airport, we have no control over parking in these areas or measures to deter drivers to park there.
“We have had discussions with residents, local councilors and council in the past to find ways to address this issue and deter this parking, but unfortunately it continues to be a problem.” Liverpool City Council said highways officers would come out to monitor the situation in Hale Road.
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