Airport lane change forces motorists into carpark

| 15.06,09. 01:26 PM |

Airport lane change forces motorists into carpark

June 15, 2009 12:00am

AUSTRALIA'S worst airport has become a lot more unpleasant with Sydney airport management closing a turning lane, forcing motorists to either to use the exorbitant Macquarie Bank-owned carpark, or exit the airport altogether.

Its closure means motorists now have to drive out of the airport and turn elsewhere if they need to do a lap to pick someone up or pay a minimum $7 for 30 minutes parking at what the consumer watchdog has labelled the most expensive carpark at the worst airport in Australia.

The $14-an-hour parking charges compares with $4 in Adelaide, $8.45 at New York's Kennedy Airport and $8.50 at London's Heathrow.

A Sydney Airports Corporation spokesman denied the lane closure was aimed at herding people into the bank-owned carpark. "You can still pick people up first thing," he said.

 "But if you are planning a circle you just have to do a longer circle."

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He said the measure was aimed at easing congestion rather than raising more carpark revenue. "It is not to force people into parking. Free pick-up is still being preserved," he said.

The Daily Telegraph saw at least 10 private cars making the newly illegal turn yesterday. "I've had to do two illegal turns because there's nowhere to turn around," Justin Weaver, of Rosebery, said.

Simon Pintabono, of Pyrmont, was unapologetic after he was moved on by airport traffic staff while waiting to pick up his wife.

"I just do it anyway," he said. "It's silly to have to park your car for five minutes just to pick someone up."

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