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Anger at Belfast International Airport's £1 pick-up charge

Concerns have been expressed about a plan to introduce a £1 charge for pick-ups and drop-offs at Belfast International Airport, with critics saying the scheme will cause congestion in the Aldergrove area.

The airport has unveiled plans to implement the fee for anyone dropping off or picking up passengers from next Wednesday, July 7.

The charge will only allow motorists to use the new drop off zone for 10 minutes, before they have to park. However there are fears that the plan will lead to a rise in the already large number of drivers parking in lay-bys and on roadsides in the rural area surrounding the airport, waiting for both departures and arrivals.

The airport said it had invested heavily in the zone in the wake of new government guidelines after the Glasgow airport bombing.

An airport spokesperson said that it had also doubled the time duration at the lowest rate in the short-stay car park.

But Northern Ireland Consumer Council’s director of policy, Aodhan O’Donnell, said that the charge is “unacceptable” and will lead to vehicular congestion.

“The Consumer Council recognises BIA needs to comply with Government security guidelines but it is unfair to charge car drivers £1 to drop off or pick up passengers,” he said.

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