TAXI bosses are furious after being forced to pass on an airport drop-off fee hike to their customers.

Chauffeur-Bus Wickford, based in Cold Norton, often ferries customers from Maldon, Chelmsford and beyond to nearby Stansted Airport.

Stansted is increasing its express set down fee from £4 to £5 from today.

The taxi company made an announcement on social media that customers would have to pay for the increase on top of their fare.

The company said the move was “unfortunate” but offered to drop passengers off at the mid-term car park so they can take the free shuttle bus for no extra charge.

A spokesman said: “We haven’t had anyone call up about it yet, but they will.

“It’s a major problem for us because we take our bookings a year in advance.

“It’s typical of Stansted to do this. We only found out about this through social media and other cabbies.

“We’re used to this kind of thing happening.

“We figure enough is enough and I can imagine things will be kicking off. It’ll probably be the black cab boys first.

“The ironic thing is Stansted claim it’s to reduce their carbon footprint but they’re burning thousands of gallons of jet fuel over our heads.”

Stansted confirmed the increase is part of a plan to reduce its carbon footprint.

Bosses are aiming to set up a high-speed charging station in Thremhall Avenue which will cater for up to 13 vehicles at any given time.

The charging points will be introduced later this year alongside two new ‘drive-thru’ restaurants coming to the area.

Plans are also in place to install electric charging areas at the meet and greet car park, as well as beginning to using electric coaches to operate between the airport and Stratford train station in London.

Landside operations director Anita Harrison said: “London Stansted has been setting the pace among UK airports for years when it comes to addressing our local environmental impacts and we are well within legal limits for air quality, but there will always be more both we and passengers can do.

“In particular, we need to build on our good track record of encouraging a reduction in emissions from road traffic. This is why we are continually taking steps to encourage more passengers to think about how they get to and from the airport.

“We know our passengers want choice, and our investment in our public transport network will make it even easier to leave the car at home, while also encouraging the take-up of electric vehicles.”

Stansted Airport bosses say they already offers a number of cost-reduction schemes aimed at encouraging passengers to use public transport or car share when travelling to and from the airport.