There is considerable confusion at Stornoway Airport about the operation of the new parking charges.
Welovestornoway.com went down to the airport yesterday afternoon (Friday) to see for ourselves.
Among other things we saw:
- A driver searching for the ticket from the new ticket machine entering the car park…but the machine is exposed and the ticket had been blown away in the wind.
- Drivers confused by the lack of detailed signage when you approach the new turning to the car park, so people did not know whether to go there for drop-offs, and blocked the entrance while trying to decide
- Drivers confused about paying because there is no signage at all to point out that the first two hours of parking are free
On-line, there is no up-to-date information on the HIAL website specifically relating to Stornoway. There are also several Stornoway Airport Facebook pages…and the car park information is on a brand-new one which has only a handful of likes/followers.
We heard reports of drivers evading the barrier on the route to the main entrance which is no longer the access for most people, although that is not made clear on the signs. Additional signs are due to be installed soon,
We understand the staff on the ground at Stornoway Airport have been subject to extremely impolite treatment by drivers, despite the fact that the introduction of the charges and the provision of signs is nothing to do with them.
Overall, car park charging started Monday 2nd July and is set at a fixed cost of £3 per day after exceeding the 2-hour free parking limit. There are still many people who were parked before the charges started who will have to contact airport staff before they can get out of the car parks.
The official airport policy states: “All cars already parked in the car park when the system goes live on 2nd July, will need to pay at the information desk prior to exit.
‘The following are not permitted in the airport car park:
- Caravans or trailers
- Overnight sleeping
- Vehicles over 7m in length.
Any vehicle requiring access to the front of the terminal should use the call button at the entrance barrier and speak to the Duty Officer at the Information Desk who will raise both barriers, as necessary.
There are exemptions to the charges for the following groups:
- NHS patients on production of their Travel Warrant.
- Blue Badge holders, who should come to the Information Desk for an exit pass. This will be reviewed in 12 months.
- Those who are travelling under Loganair’s Compassionate Travel Policy.
Payment and exit procedures include:
- The large Pay Station in the foyer accepts cash, chip and pin and contactless payments as does the external Pay Station in the shelter opposite the Terminal. Both machines are touch screen.
- The Pay Stations at the exit only accept card/contactless payments.
So how does it work? The following applies to the public car park only.
- On entering the car park, drive up to the machine on the right and push the illuminated button for a ticket.
- Park your vehicle and enjoy up to 2 hours free parking.
- When you are ready to leave the airport, any time after 2 hours have elapsed, either:
- Place your ticket in any of the cash Pay Stations, where the charge will be calculated and you have the choice of chip and pin or contactless.
- Any visits less than 2 hours, please insert your ticket as normal, where your card will be validated for exit without charge.
- Any questions, please call the information desk. http://www.hial.co.uk/stornoway-airport/contact-us/
There's nothing visible around the machines to explain that the first 2 hours is free
What used to to be the entrance is now blocked…while the exit is now the entrance!