Cowboy Airport Parking Companies Targeted in Manchester
Manchester is known to be a hotspot for rogue airport car parking companies. UK based company Airport Parking has made significant efforts to target these cowboy dealers. They are working together with both Trading Standards and Manchester Council in an effort to collect data and take these companies out of business.
There has been a huge crackdown around Manchester Airport on the rogue “meet and greet” parking firms that operated there. This is a joint effort between Manchester Council, the Trading Standards Agency and Airport Parking, a UK based online company helping travelers find affordable parking. The efforts are also supported by Greater Manchester Police.
Last month, the M.E.N. investigation was published, which listed the issues around cowboy firms. This prompted hundreds of travelers to complain. A dedicated website was launched and companies like Airport Parking urged their visitors to reveal whether they had any issues.
It is believed that, since the summer of 2015, there are three times more rogue operators in the area, an estimated 50 now being around. Most of those are believed to be operated by low level gangs. A number of things have been revealed through the investigation:
- A number of crime gangs operate multiple rogue car parks.
- Some cars have been parked in residential streets, in fields, and on pub car parks.
- Some vehicles have been stolen.
- Many vehicles had extra mileage on them after being returned.
- One vehicle was used as a tow vehicles for cars that were abandoned in fields.
The result of these rogue traders is that an average of one family per day miss their flight, because their vehicle isn’t picked up. Additionally, just under one call is made to the police every day about a vehicle being missing. Additionally, many vehicles are abandoned on the forecourts of the terminals, which breaches many safety rules.
A representative from Airport Parking said: “We are very happy to be working together with Manchester Airport, Trading Standards, Manchester Council, and the police to combat this rogue trading. It ruins many people’s holidays and also causes problems for residents. So far, over 100 complaints have been received and they are all being investigated. Meanwhile, we have checked our books to make sure all parking providers we list continue to be properly licensed and registered, so that people know they can book with us with confidence.”
Manchester Council and Trading Standards have revealed a plan to tackle the issue, which includes:
- Intelligence gathering.
- Determining where cars are being parked.
- Asking customers to report their experiences to Trading Standards.
- Installing CCTV in residential areas to enforce speed limits.
- Revoking pub licenses if they allow cars to be parked there by rogue firms.
- Increase patrols in known hotspots.
- Adding new permit only signage.
- Working together with legitimate car parking owners.
- Towing cars that appear abandoned.
- Communicating with the DVLA to find owners of vehicles.
Airport Parking, meanwhile, has released advice to those wanting to use car parks. The representative says: “We must encourage everybody to only use accredited services such as the ones we signpost to. They must check they are ParkMark accredited, which they can check with the British Parking Association. Furthermore, if something does go wrong, they must report it straight away to the police, but, if possible, also to the airport, Manchester Council, and Trading Standards. By working together, we hope to finally be able to resolve this problem.”
Manchester Airport is one of the most expensive airports in the world for car parking, ranking 10th in the world. Because of these inflated prices, it is an attractive location for rogue traders to operate.