Manchester Airport is working with partners to take action on “inconsiderate and illegal parking” in neighbouring residential areas.
The airport is working with Manchester City Council, Greater Manchester Police and Cheshire Police to crack down on unofficial parking firms operating near the airport.
Passengers have been warned to avoid using rogue parking firms in areas such as Wythenshawe and Woodhouse Park, which leave vehicles for long periods of time on residential streets despite claims that they would be stored securely.
The airport is urging travellers to find reputable parking operators through two initiatives: Park Mark is a Police Crime Prevention Initiative which has over 5,000 accredited car parks in the UK, while government-backed Buy With Confidence lists providers vetted and approved by Trading Standards.
Cheshire Constabulary launched Operation Cicero in June to tackle rogue car parks near the airport.
Inspector Andrew Baker, from Cheshire Police, added:
“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 which are affiliated to the airport. In reality, the vehicles are often stored in insecure muddy fields.
“As a result, we have had reports of vehicles being damaged or even having parts stolen. In other cases, we’ve been contacted by people who’ve returned home to find their vehicles have been driven thousands of miles while they’ve been on holiday.
“While we are committed to working closely with our partners to tackle these issues, it’s essential that holiday makers play their part.
“I would urge anyone who is going on holiday and looking to book a parking slot, to do their research, choose a reputable company and always book through an official website and don’t just go for the cheapest option. Otherwise your car may be touring the UK while you are travelling the world.”
Additionally, the airport aims to tackle traffic congestion in neighbouring communities through its Private Hire waiting area at JetParks 1, designed for taxi and private hire vehicle drivers to use in between jobs. Facilities here include a hot drinks machine, indoor seating, toilets and flight information display screens.
The airport has cut the cost of the waiting area in half during the school summer holidays, allowing taxi drivers to wait for up to three hours for £1, and is considering renewing the scheme over subsequent busy periods if it is 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 neighbouring 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.
“Meanwhile, we continue to take the issue of rogue meet and greet firms very seriously. In addition to our own official parking, there are a number of reliable and reputable third-party providers located near the airport and we would always urge passengers to do their research before handing over their keys.”