People are parking in a nearby industrial estate and going on holiday.
Cllr Ray Bloxham told the East Devon Highways and Traffic Orders Committee on Tuesday that he often sees people park their cars and then ‘walk off with their suitcases’.
He called for more to be done to encourage people to use the car parks at the Airport, and Clyst Honiton Parish Council have called for some sort of parking restriction on the Industrial Estate which enables space within the estate to be used by its tenants and their visitors without penalty or charge, but means it cannot be used by airport passengers.
There are no restrictions at present that stop holidaymakers ‘abusing’ the industrial estate.
Cllr Bloxham said: “There is plenty of parking at the airport, but no one is using it, and people are parking at the business park instead. People who work there or are visiting cannot find anywhere to park because people are parking their cars there for weeks on end. You see people park and walk off to the airport with their suitcases.
“I am asking the airport to do something more to make parking a bit more reasonable, but also to do something to help parking at the business park as cars as blocking up access to it.
“We need to encourage them to go and use the car park and we need to have conversations to take this forward.”
Exeter Airport currently has four car parks. Tariffs to park for seven days range from £94 to £115, while parking for two weeks costs between £180 and £275.
Cllr Bloxham added that just putting in parking restrictions at the business park wouldn’t necessarily work as it would just displace the problem to somewhere else, as the holidaymakers won’t go to the car park.
He added: “If you make airport parking at the right price, then they won’t be displaced elsewhere.”
Cllr Phil Twiss, who is the county council member on the Exeter Airport Consultative Committee, brought the issue to the HATOC for discussion as Clyst Honiton Parish Council had asked that the issue be raised.
Discussions at a recent meeting said that Airport parkers leaving vehicles for mid and long-term periods on the streets of the Business Park was causing obstruction to businesses.
Restrictions of 23 hour in any 24-hour period parking limits had been proposed to prevent this problem in the business park, but the board noted that it may have the implication of pushing traffic into surrounding residential areas including Clyst Honiton.
The Parish Council want to progress some form of parking restriction on the Industrial Estate which enabled space within the estate to be used by its tenants and their visitors without penalty or charge, but that meant it cannot be used by airport passengers
But Mike Jones, highways officer for Devon County Council, said that at present a traffic management plan review for the area around the Airport was not on the list to be looked at next year. He added that work would need to be carried out to ‘find out the truth’ as to if people were parking in the business park and walking to the airport.
Mr Jones added though that any review could be ‘fast tracked’ through the system if the Airport or the Consultative Committee were prepared to fund it.
Cllr Twiss said he would take the suggestion back to the committee to see if they would consider it.