French rugby fans forced to take shuttles after coach firms refused to pay £200 charge

Thousands of arriving French rugby fans will have to take shuttle buses to their coaches at Edinburgh Airport today after parking charges near the terminal were hiked to £200.

A French rugby fan on Rose Street in Edinburgh. Scotland play France at Murrayfield in the Six Nations this weeknd. Picture: TSPL

A compromise deal has been agreed that coach operators will use the Ingliston park and ride site instead nearly one mile away.

It follows a row over the airport’s plan to provide coach parking in a car park beside the terminal at £200 a vehicle compared to the previous £5 to £10 fee for using the small coach park nearby.

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Airport officials said the coach park had been overwhelmed by more than 70 coaches collecting fans at previous Scotland-France rugby internationals.

One coach industry source described the deal as “not ideal for either party”.

They said: “If the weather is poor, then the passengers who are being ferried by minibus to coaches parked a bit away won’t be best pleased.”

The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), which represents coach operators, said it remained to be seen if the new plan will work.

Scottish general manager Jeremy Tinsley said: “Following engagement with the airport, a compromise agreement has been reached to ­enable coach operators to service the airport without the imposition of inflated pick-up charges.

“This will be reviewed after the event to ascertain whether it has been successful or if further discussions are required.

“CPT will continue to stress the importance of encouraging the use of sustainable transport modes, including bus and coach, to and from main transport hubs such as Edinburgh Airport.”

An airport spokesman said: “We are pleased our commitment to resolving this matter with the coach operators resulted in a mutually agreeable plan.

“Also, we will be welcoming our French friends to Scotland by employing eight additional French speakers to help in the airport terminal.”