Approved Operator scheme for Gatwick meet and greet parking

We’ve written a lot in the past about Gatwick meet and greet parking, how great it is (when you book with a reliable, established company) and just how bad it can get if you’re not careful who you book with.

Unfortunately, bad meet and greet parking companies can give the ‘good guys’ – established companies that have proper meet and greet procedures in place – a bad name. Now Gatwick Airport, in partnership with West Sussex County Council and Surrey Trading Standards, is set to regulate the industry by launching an ‘approved operator’ scheme.

Currently, the proposals are in the consultation stage with views on the proposals being invited up until Friday 12 April 2013.

The draft consultation paper is looking to:

  • Reduce forecourt congestion by limiting the number of meet and greet operations to specific and controlled areas
  • Restrict usage of the airport forecourt to drop-off only
  • Ensure operators using the airport’s infrastructure comply with the ‘user pays’ principle
  • Ensure that meet and greet operators offer customers a good level of service by introducing an ‘approved operator’ scheme.

The proposed criteria for the ‘approved operator’ scheme for meet and greet parking companies are:

  • Companies must have the British Parking Association ParkMark award for all operations sites serving Gatwick
  • Have attained the Buy with Confidence accreditation from Trading Standards
  • Sign and operate within the terms of a licence agreement with the airport.

The proposed scheme could have a significant impact on the number of meet and greet parking companies that are permitted to operate at Gatwick Airport as the airport states in its consultation that:

Any MGO not in the approved operator scheme will not be allowed to use the dedicated areas on which we are also consulting, and will have to operate from the MSCP paying the regular tariff.

No commercial operations will be allowed on any non-dedicated areas of the forecourts.

Gatwick Airport is set to issue final proposals based on feedback received in early May and will open the approved operator scheme for signatories from mid May 2013.

Comments

  1. this is really a good news that gatwick airport and big established parking companies are moving together for something good. best luck to them

    what about small and new parking companies do they going to get fair chace in this whole process?

    according to trading standards any business less than 6 months trading history can not join Buy With Confidence

    so what is a solution for those poor companies ?

  2. Hello,

    I am writting with some questions about the changes in meet & greet parking.

    We all know that the big companies have been aware of these changes for a while as they have had the chance to discuss the changes with you.

    1. What happens to smaller companies that have applied for change of use but are still waiting for decisions? The time frame has not been enough to get change of use, trading standards and parkmark for each site from which we operate.

    While these applications are in place I feel it unfair if companies are penalised and not given a chance to join the scheme untill such time a decision is made against them.

    2. Who is behind the scheme and who will regulate it? Who will check all traders stick to the scheme and what legal standing do these people/organisations have?

    I would appreciate a reply to these questions

  3. @confused

    Thanks for your comment.

    I’m not affiliated to Gatwick Airport so won’t be able to answer your questions as well or necessarily as accurately as you would like.

    There’s quite a lot of information about the approved operator proposal on Gatwick Airport’s website.

    The way I understand it – from the documents available online – is that, if the proposed scheme goes ahead, it’s likely that the only way a meet and greet parking company would be allowed to operate from designated areas, set aside for meet and greet parking pick-ups and drop-offs, would be if the company signs up to the approved operator scheme. But in order to do this, the company would need to prove that they hold the ParkMark award and the Trading Standards ‘buy with confidence’ award.

    I assume that new and existing meet and greet parking companies will be allowed to sign up to the scheme as and when they meet the criteria set by Gatwick Airport.

    Gatwick Airport, West Sussex County Council and Surrey Trading Standards are working together on this proposed scheme. How it will be regulated and who will check that all traders stick to the scheme is uncertain at this time, but I assume all should become clear when the final proposals are released in early May.

    I hope this helps.

    If you or anyone else has any more questions feel free to add to the comments below.

  4. @sunny

    It’s good news that the meet and greet parking industry at Gatwick is going to be more tightly controlled to protect passengers from less scrupulous companies which don’t park vehicles in secure locations.

    However, I guess the new proposal will make it more difficult for new companies to set up.

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