Melbourne Airport is introducing a "Ring & Ride" waiting area in its long term car park, where drivers can wait for arriving passengers to phone to say they're ready to be picked up from the airport's terminals.
But counterbalancing the convenience of the new Ring & Ride area is an extensive set of CityLink and VicRoads roadworks on the Tullamarine Freeway and M80 Ring Road through January -- be aware of when they might disrupt your journey.
New Ring & Ride: useful for arriving passengers
Entry to Ring & Ride is through the two Long Term Car Park gates on Terminal Drive and Centre Road. ??
Once inside the car park, follow the signs or line markings to the Ring & Ride zone. When passengers are ready to be collected, drive out through the Long Term Car Park on to Melrose Drive to reach the terminal.
The first twenty minutes in the Ring & Ride zone will be free, with a 20-40 minute wait costing $2 and up to an hour for $4. After the hour, regular long term parking charges will apply.
Ten extra pick-up bays will also come into play at the terminals this week, following the extensive forecourt reconstruction works that have been going on for the past few months.
Airport CEO Chris Woodruff explained that the ring & ride area was created in response to "growing concern about drivers parking illegally on the Tullamarine Freeway or other roadways while they waited to pick up arriving passengers."
Major freeway roadworks to cause travel delays
The Tulla Freeway itself -- and the M80 Ring Road bridge -- will be a mess for the next month, however, with authorities cleverly doing major roadworks and freeway closures at what the airport admits is "the busiest time of year for Melbourne Airport".
From 27 December to 8 January, CityLink will close lanes on the Tullamarine Freeway (only one lane open between 8pm-5am and only two during the day).
VicRoads will close the M80 bound for Altona and Greensborough at Furlong Road overnight from 8pm Saturday 14 January to 9am Sunday 15 January. Only one lane will be reopened in both directions from 9am Sunday 15 January to 5am Monday 16 January.
And Melbourne Airport is continuing works on the APAC Drive on-ramp "from mid January".
Melbourne Airport has all the details of the expected closures.