£574 for a parking space

London City Airport has the most expensive car park in the country, the Daily Express has revealed. At £186 for a week long stay, a pre-booked space costs almost as much as two Ryanair flights to Berlin, even allowing for extras such as baggage.

A two-week stay tips the scales at £287, and that is providing that all spaces are booked in advance. Already, London City is charging customers six times the national average for long stay parking.

Turning up unprepared on departure day adds more than one hundred pounds to the cost of a week’s parking, whilst the fee for a fortnight skyrockets to more than £500, a figure that could pay for a long weekend on the Continent.

Airport officials claim that the charges have strategic value, encouraging passengers to leave their cars at home.

Norman Baker, MP for the Lewes constituency, has taken umbrage over the fees. The Liberal Democrat pointed out that excessive parking charges devalue budget airlines by adding extra costs to otherwise cheap flight tickets.

"It’s a rip-off. The amount being charged is probably enough to pay for a return flight to New York," Mr. Bates said.

London City has enjoyed an otherwise productive September. After being praised for the punctuality of its planes, the airport has announced plans to redevelop its terminal building during 2010.

Responding to the boom in online check-in facilities, London City wants to give passengers greater access to security desks, reducing the time that customers have to spend in queues, and improving connections between flyers and resident airlines.

Brave travellers can book their parking space in advance on the Airport Parking Shop website.

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