Monday, 17 May 2010

Flights of Fancy

LONG-stay parking charges at Jersey Airport are the highest in Britain. Motorists pay £100.80 to park for seven days - significantly more than the notoriously expensive London airports and almost twice as much as Guernsey Airport. The sky-high charges have been revealed in a survey by consumer magazine Which?, which examined parking costs at the UK's busiest airports. Although Jersey was not included in the survey, the JEP has found that seven-day parking at the Airport is £12 per week higher than the business parking option at Heathrow, which topped the league. Senator Alan Breckon, chairman of the Consumer Council, said that the Airport parking charges were 'crazy'.(1)

Senator Alan Maclean said, not surprisingly, that you couldn't make comparisons with the U.K. because the Island had no long term provision as it was so small. That is true - if someone is travelling for a long period, then they can always take a taxi instead. But a taxi from the east of the Island can cost easily as much as £35 for a one way journey (as one of my correspondents informs me), which makes it £70 for long stay, which is still a large sum. He didn't mention this!

Guernsey appears to have restructured its parking significantly. The Airport Guides which seems to have information on Guernsey from 2000 (but has not been updated since)  has the following available (2):

Guernsey airport operates a pay on foot parking system, with parking
available for 275 cars. The charges are as follows:

Up to 1 hour free, 1-6 hours £2, 6-12 hours £4, 12-18 hours £6, 18-24 hours
£8, 24-48 hours £16, 48-72 hours £28, Over 72 hours £16 per day

which gives £112 for a seven day period.

However, the Guernsey Airport site (3) has

Up To 1 Hour        Free
1 - 6 Hours            £  3.00 (w.e.f 1st Feb 2010)
6 - 12 Hours          £  5.00 (w.e.f 1st Feb 2010)
12 - 18 Hours       £  7.00 (w.e.f 1st Feb 2010)
18 - 24 Hours       £  8.00
24 - 48 Hours       £ 16.00
48 - 72 Hours       £ 24.00
Over 72 Hours    £  8.00 Per Day

Which means 7 days is £56.

Now this is studiously avoided by Senator Maclean, who argues - quite rightly - that UK airports take passengers who travel some distance, and for whom a taxi would not be appropriate. But Guernsey is just next door, and is a small Island like ours, yet somehow he does not explain why their costs are significantly less.

Guernsey also has free parking up to an hour. Why can't we have this too? We used to. There seems to be a desire to squeeze the consumer for every penny in Jersey, even if they are picking someone up and will only be there for 5 minutes. As a Guernseyman I know says:

what I like about Gsy airport is that you can park for up to an hour free when you go to pick someone up/drop someone off.

I know the Airport has to be a profit making concern, but as always, somehow Guernsey is managing this so much better. It does not seem to be run by people who evidently have some affinity with Scrooge.


1 comment:

James said...

"Scrooge-like" is right. The attitude of the airport management was summed up when they refused to waive charges for people trapped off island by the volcanic ash cloud-inspired shutdown of airspace - so people arriving three days late in Jersey were slapped with a £40+ bill, regardless of the fact that the airport was shut!