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Airport drop-off charges will never take off – Doherty

Fingal Senator calls for clarity and honesty from DAA

23rd March 2023 - Regina Doherty

A Fine Gael Senator has called for clarity and honesty from the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) regarding any plans to charge motorists for dropping off and collecting family members and friends at Dublin Airport.

Senator Regina Doherty said several questions remain despite DAA saying they do not plan to introduce drop-off or pick-up charges.

Planning permission to introduce a new tolling system at the country’s busiest airport was upheld this week by An Bord Pleanála after Fingal County Council previously granted it.

Senator Doherty, Fine Gael Transport spokesperson in the Seanad, said: “The matter of charging people to drop-off or pick-up people at the terminals at Dublin Airport originally came to public attention in 2021, when Fingal County Council granted the DAA permission to make certain infrastructural changes in preparation for the introduction of the tolling measures.

“Following appeals, that permission has been upheld by An Bord Pleanála.

“The DAA has previously stated that it aims to ‘reduce car journeys to and from the airport’ by encouraging people to make greater use of public transport. I said it then and I’ll say it now: that would be all well and good if our public transport system was adequate.

“We’re still waiting on MetroLink. The public bus services that stop at Dublin Airport are not sufficient in terms of frequency or capacity, as well as the fact that there are so many parts of Dublin, and the wider region, that have no link to the airport whatsoever.

“Services to other parts of the country are also very limited,” she said.

“I wouldn’t blame people for not trusting the DAA when they claim that the plans for drop-off and pick-up charges are suddenly no longer on the cards.

“It’s time they gave us some clarity and showed a bit of honesty, not to mention common sense. I hope their recent announcement means that they have come to their senses.

“From day one, the proposal to toll drop-off zones has looked like another money-grabbing exercise. There are ways to deal with congestion and to get people to start using buses, but penalising motorists and air passengers isn’t it.

“Airport drop and collect charges should never take off,” Senator Doherty said.

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