Fears over safety have been raised as motorists try to dodge a £2 charge introduced by Leeds-Bradford Airport for using its forecourt drop-off facility.
The charge was introduced earlier this year and, although free parking for up to one hour is available in the airport’s long-stay car parks, an increasing number of motorists are opting to drop people off on Whitehouse Lane.
A report to be discussed by senior councillors on Wednesday says this has led to more u-turns being made along the lane by drivers not wanting to pay the £2 charge.
It adds: “This change has had a negative impact on the public highway, particularly at peak times, with an increase in the number of instances of parking on double yellow lines to drop off as a means of avoiding the £2 charge.”
The report prepared for the council’s Executive Board also reveals that the cost of providing a taxi rank in Whitehouse Lane could be as high as £840,000.
Ever since the airport awarded a contract to a private hire car company in 2008, taxis have not been permitted to “rank up” within the airport’s boundary as they previously did.
It has prompted calls from some councillors and the taxi trade for a rank to be laid out in Whitehouse Lane, which runs alongside the airport. The trade has offered to contribute towards the cost. The idea is opposed by airport bosses.
But the report warns councillors that the cost of a 22-space rank would be higher than originally anticipated, coming in at a minimum of £515,000 with the possibility of a further £325,000 being added should extra excavation be required.
It points out that, for an annual charge, taxis can drop off and wait for up to 15 minutes and airport bosses have offered to increase that to 30 minutes.
According to the report, senior council officials feel the taxi rank is “not the ideal solution.”
They suggest the council should liaise with the airport over a forecourt management plan which would address the “negative impact” the £2 charge is having on Whitehouse Lane.