10 Jan 2018

Brisbane car parking: 250 tickets as motorists disobey no standing at Brisbane Airport drop-off zone

MOTORISTS are still coming to grips with the no standing policy at the drop-off, pick-up zone at Brisbane Airport, with more than 250 tickets handed out each year.

The Brisbane Airport Corporation’s (BAC) transport manager Adam Hazell said their parking officers don’t delight in booking motorists who disobey the rules. He said they prefer to instruct a motorist to move on, even multiple times, before issuing a ticket.

The penalties start at $108 and increase to $190 if caught in a disabled zone without a permit. All fines go to the Commonwealth government.

“The rule of thumb is a warning, and being asked to move on, and the officer will go for a walk and if they come back they’re still there, they’ll ask again and if they don’t move they’ll look to write a ticket,” Mr Hazell told The Courier-Mail.

“It’s a last resort. There’s no financial incentive for us to write the ticket. It goes to the Commonwealth.”

He said the change from a two minute parking zone to an immediate passenger collection or drop-off several years ago was out of necessity.

“We had historical issues with the two minute rule because people wanted to argue that they hadn’t been there for two minutes, so we’d end up with the whole area full with people waiting for two minutes and no spaces to drop-off,” he said.

“We also didn’t want our officers running a stop watch for two minutes, it just wasn’t feasible … the rule of thumb is that it’s no stopping unless your passenger is kerbside.”

HOW TO AVOID CONGESTION

The no-parking policy has created congestion issues, especially when a large number of flights are delayed at the same time, largely because of weather.

BAC communications manager Leonie Vandeven said it’s common for drivers to complete numerous drive-bys of the collection area waiting for their passenger to appear and that’s when the bottleneck occurs.

She said motorists have several options to avoid, not only being fined, but multiple drive-bys and adding to the congestion.

One choice is to wait at the BNE Service Centre on Nancy Bird Way, which has more than 153 car parks and is within a short driving distance to both the domestic and international terminals.

The service centre has a food court with seating for more than 200 people, free two hour parking and a flights arrival and departures display board.

Another alternative during lengthy delays is to visit Skygate, at the Nudgee Rd end of Airport Drive.

FREE BUS FROM SKYGATE

The shopping complex is serviced by a free bus that runs every 10 minutes and at the international and domestic terminals during business hours.

“We strongly advise people not to do the loop. It adds to the congestion and causes more stress than is necessary,” she said.

“We’ve got Skygate where people can have a coffee and shop and there is a free transfer bus that goes to the international and domestic terminals and it drops off at the front door.”

From Skygate, the transfer bus takes approximately seven minutes to the international terminal and a further 10 minutes to the domestic terminal.

The alternative to shopping is to use the free 30 minute parking area which allows for re-entry although drivers appear to be timid about using it, said Mr Hazell.

A free BAC app allows those waiting to keep track of arrivals in real-time.

“There is anxiety about going into car park with a ticket because people think they are going to get charged but we allow circulation, so they can exit and go around and park for another half an hour.

“It’s about a 500 metre round trip.”

DISABLED SPACES THE BIGGEST HEADACHE

Patrolling the general drop-off zone is not as hectic as monitoring the disabled spots, says parking customer service officer Teresa (last name withheld).

In the thirty minutes The Courier-Mail spent with Mr Hazell and Teresa, one driver was booked for leaving his car unattended and several stopped in the disabled parking zone even though they did not have permits.

One arriving passenger even tried to flag down his driver in the disabled parking area.

“It’s an emotional time for everyone … most people are pretty good. Once you explain they can’t sit there, they are amazing,” Teresa said.

“Emotions can run high but we won’t antagonise. Friday nights are the most difficult for people, and early cold mornings.”

Mr Hazel said drivers who do not possess a disabled parking sticker but need to use the zone to collect an elderly or disabled passenger, should approach a customer service officer upon arrival.

He said in some cases an elderly person arriving on a flight may possess a permit but their driver does not.

“It creates challenges because we then have people with stickers seeing people without stickers thinking we are allowing abuse of the system,” he said.

“The procedure is to take the details down and if what they told you is true that’s fine, but if it’s not you’ll get a ticket in the mail.

“We do have strict no unattended vehicle policies here.”

HOW TO AVOID AIRPORT DRIVE-BYS

* Free 30 minute parking zone — re-entry is allowed

* BNE Service Centre, Nancy Bird Way — Free two hour parking

* Skygate — Free bus during business hours until 6pm. Stops international/domestic terminals (timetable).

* Allow extra time (approx. 15 minutes) when dropping off passengers on Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights and Monday mornings.

* BAC App has real time arrivals/departure information

* Do not leave car unattended — $108 fine

* Stopping in disabled zone without a permit $190

* If collecting, passenger must be kerbside

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