I drove a friend to Leeds-Bradford Airport recently, pulled up outside the terminal, out he popped with a cheery farewell and thanks for a great few days in Yorkshire. In less than a minute we were both on our separate ways. I was then charged £2 to get out of the airport – I reckon that’s about 4p a second, which must make it the highest car parking charge in the country.
‘No change given’ sniggered the sign at the barrier. Fortunately, the following car driver had change for a tenner. The next words I read through my red mist were ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’.
I later rang to ask about this new tax on customers and was told that “restructuring of car parking will help with improvements to the airport”. And, apparently, next time I want a short stay I should go to the long-stay car park where I can have an hour for free… however, my passenger – the airport’s customer – would have to walk to the terminal or wait for a shuttle bus (which will drop him off at the same place I had done earlier).
I know he won’t mind this minor inconvenience (and he will be happy not to have to listen to me whining on and on about the fee) but the less abled, families and those laden with awkward luggage – and, I imagine, taxi drivers – won’t be too enamoured by such an unfriendly development at this gateway to Yorkshire.
On a more positive note my friend was impressed by the industrial archaeology of the Hoffman Kiln at Langcliffe in Ribblesdale, part of which is pictured here. Well worth the visit if you’re in the area… and it’s free.