The UK’s Manchester City Council, Manchester Airport and local police forces have reassured residents in communities surrounding the gateway that they will tackle inconsiderate and illegal parking.
Following recent reports of poor practice by some unofficial parking companies operating near the airport, Cheshire Constabulary launched Operation Cicero in June 2022, with the aim of identifying any wrongdoing and taking enforcement action where appropriate. According to the airport, rogue firms have previously caused problems in the Wythenshawe area, leaving vehicles for long periods of time on residential streets, despite claiming they would be stored securely.
Cheshire Constabulary’s Inspector Andrew Baker said, “When booking airport car parks people often go for the cheapest option – but sometimes this isn’t the best choice. Here in Cheshire, we have received a number of complaints from residents in relation to rogue parking companies which are operating near Manchester Airport. These companies claim to be secure car parks that are affiliated with the airport. In reality, the vehicles are often stored in unsecure, muddy fields.”
The airport is also taking action to combat congestion caused by the increased number of taxis and private hire vehicles traveling to and from the airport at the height of the summer season by operating a dedicated waiting area for drivers to use in between jobs so that vehicles don’t have to park up in neighboring residential areas. The cost of this waiting area has been halved during the school summer holiday peak, meaning taxi drivers can wait for three hours with just a £1 (US$1.21) contribution to the facility’s upkeep. Additionally, private hire firms are being contacted directly by the airport with details of how they can take advantage of this scheme during the summer holidays. The airport will consider renewing the scheme over subsequent busy periods if it proves successful.
Chris Woodroofe, managing director at Manchester Airport, said, “We understand that for taxi drivers, particularly those based some distance from the airport, it makes financial sense to wait in the area for a return fare rather than to make the return journey without a passenger. However, when a high number of private hire vehicles wait in neighboring residential areas, it can create congestion and increase the risk of inconsiderate or illegal parking. That is why we have introduced this scheme for the summer holiday period, which we expect will alleviate pressure on street parking capacity in areas such as Wythenshawe and Woodhouse Park by providing an affordable alternative for commercial drivers who need to remain in the area for extended periods.”
Alongside the above action, the airport will be supporting the police crime prevention initiative, Park Mark, which is designed to tackle crime in parking facilities and has more than 5,000 accredited parking facilities in the UK. The Buy With Confidence government scheme is also expected to help the situation as it lists providers vetted and approved by Trading Standards to ensure that they operate in a legal, honest and fair way. The airport, Manchester City Council and police bosses are urging passengers to use these schemes when selecting which parking company to use.
To read more updates from Manchester Airport, click here.