Leeds Bradford Airport is being criticised for changes to its parking charges which will leave some customers paying the same price for a much shorter stay.

The airport says the measures have been put in place to reduce congestion - but Adel and Wharfedale councillor Barry Anderson claims they are purely to increase revenue.

From this week anyone using the one hour free car park will have no return allowed within one hour of leaving.

And although the terminal front express car park charge will remain at £3 for cars, the time allowed will be slashed from 30 minutes to ten minutes. Stays of between 30minutes to 60 minutes remain at £9 for cars, and there is a sliding scale for between ten to 30 minutes.

Electric cars will be able to use the terminal front express carpark for free for up to an hour.

In an email to councillors the airport says: “We are implementing these changes to address the increased congestion being experienced at peak times in the pick up and drop off operations at the airport. This is leading to operational issues and consequently a knock on effect to passenger service standards. For the airport to maintain an efficient pickup and drop off facility, we need to encourage a faster turnaround within the pick up and drop off areas. “

Cllr Anderson said: “My first reaction was one of surprise and disappointment that the airport have come forward with these measures.

“When I sent the information out to residents about these increases I received a number of complaints. Residents who are customers at the airport are, quite rightly, incensed about the reduction in time from 30 minutes to 10 minutes for the same price of £3 for the drop off parking charges and the changes to the free one hour short stay by having a new no return within an hour policy once your first hour is up. It is claimed that these changes are needed to address circulation issues at the terminal and increased congestion at peak times. Passengers and residents feel this is just a money making scheme. “

He added: “The bottom line is that there is no economic case or transport reasons for these changes it is purely to increase the revenue of the airport.”

Otley and Yeadon councillor Colin Campbell has written to the airport with questions and concerns.

In his letter he says: “Could I have some assurance around disabled access. I would not wish your plans to penalise members of the public who are not as mobile as most.

“ The one hour free space is well used but is badly laid out which does cause some congestion. Dealing with this would help flows through the area.

“I am unsure why people should be charged for visiting the site more than once. If you turn up to pick up a passenger and for some reason they are delayed obviously people leave the area and come back.”