Holidaymakers snubbing airport car park

VILLAGERS are furious with cost-conscious holidaymakers who are dumping their vehicles in their idyllic streets to avoid paying "astronomic" car park charges at Stansted Airport.

VILLAGERS are furious with cost-conscious holidaymakers who are dumping their vehicles in their idyllic streets to avoid paying "astronomic" car park charges at Stansted Airport.

Residents in Takeley, one mile from the Essex airport, are increasingly fed up with tourists who are using their quiet roads as a budget car park alternative.

With a fortnight's stay at Stansted's long stay car park during the summer costing around £100, travellers are opting to drive to outlying villages, where there are no parking controls, and take a taxi to airport departures instead.

At only £8 for a return minicab fare from Takeley to Stansted, holidaymakers are saving up to £90 on the costs of their trip.


You may also want to watch:


BAA, the airport operator, has recognised the "fly parking" problem and is currently conducting a survey to assess is scale.

However, with no solution yet in sight, villagers are beginning to despair. Takeley Parish Council clerk David Fossett said yesterday: "I've even heard that some holidaymakers have returned to their vehicles to find their tyres let down.

Most Read

"It's a real problem for many people because parking here is not illegal. However, it is unreasonable."

Parish council chairman Trevor Allen, who lives in Elm Close – one of the roads affected – claimed the parking was also sometimes dangerous.

"Some park near junctions or on verges and the cars become obstructions," he said.

"There's quite a considerable amount of boiling blood about the issue among residents, especially as we are entering the holiday season.

"We've been talking to various authorities about it all, but at the heart of it is the astronomic fees that the airport is charging people to park at their on their own premises."

The parish council has been discussing the idea of parking controls, one of the options in the power of Uttlesford District Council.

Its head of planning, John Mitchell, said the issue was not his priority "at the moment", but added there were various solutions.

He said: "If we find particular streets are being persistently used then there are measures we can take, such as residents' parking permits – but these are not generally popular alternatives either."

He added another deterrent could be to introduce 24-hour zones allowing people to leave cars for a day, but after that they would be penalised.

A spokesman for Stansted Airport said: "There is an ongoing study in many areas around the airport as part of the conditions attached to our plans to grow passenger numbers to 25million a year.

"We have also set up a 24-hour hotline to allow people to report incidents of fly parking."

A spokesman for Essex Police said yesterday: "If cars are being parked in dangerous positions we urge people to report that.

"We are monitoring the situation, but as yet we have not noticed any increased trend in reports to us."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus