A Trowbridge couple said they were forced to book a taxi to take them to Bristol Airport after criticising a 65 per cent hike in car park charges.

Kay and Tom Gerken, of Gibbs Leaze, Hilperton, regularly fly to France three or four times a year to visit Tom’s daughter and her family.

But when Kay tried to book parking in Bristol Airport's  ‘Meet and Greet’ area she found the cost had risen sharply.

Kay said: “Bristol Airport is undertaking a lot of changes to their car parking at the moment – the building work to construct a new multi-storey car park is causing a lot of disruption and is due to last for more than another year.

“My husband has some mobility issues so we have used their Meet and Greet parking service for a good number of years – and accepted the additional cost which this service incurs for the convenience of leaving the car so close to the terminal. 

“The last time we travelled was between Christmas and the New Year – which we did not book until mid-November – and booked six days of parking for £133.44.

“We are planning another trip in April so I searched for the car parking for eight days – the quote was £290.28

Wiltshire Times: Kay Gerkin, who says parking charges at Bristol Airport. were too high, so she has booked a taxi from Trowbridge instead. Photo: Trevor Porter 76852-2Kay Gerkin, who says parking charges at Bristol Airport. were too high, so she has booked a taxi from Trowbridge instead. Photo: Trevor Porter 76852-2 (Image: Trevor Porter)

“The daily rate has gone from £22.17 per day to £36.28 per day which is an increase of 65 per cent. What is the justification for this increase?

“It was suggested by the airport that I should have booked earlier even though it was two months before I am travelling.  But I tried lots and lots of dates throughout the year and the price was always similar."

Mrs Gerken has called the price hikes 'pure profiteering' at the travellers’ expense.

“I can only assume that Bristol Airport have decided they need recoup the cost of building the new multi-storey car park by ripping off their previously loyal customers," she said.

“I do not imagine they will reduce the prices again once the new car park has been built."

Mrs Gerken said she has since booked and paid for a taxi to take them to the airport at Lulsgate Bottom eight miles southwest of Bristol city centre.

Bristol Airport is the largest airport in the South West of England and welcomed a record 9.8 million passengers last year.

A spokesperson said: “Bristol Airport offers a choice and a variety of car parking options for customers and booking directly online with us guarantees the best price.

"Prices are determined automatically based on demand and booking volumes, similar to the way airline ticket prices work.

“Bristol Airport also offers customer discounts by joining Rewards.  As a Rewards member customers are able to enjoy discounts booking in advance on all the various car park products, and enjoy other exclusive offers when travelling from Bristol Airport.

“We also encourage customers to use other ways of travelling to and from Bristol Airport including providing a free one-hour car park for pickups and drop offs, with courtesy bus transfers between the terminal and car park.

"Alternatively, there are many direct bus and coach services linking the Airport with Bristol, the South West, and South Wales.”