Heathrow moves on air quality

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Director responsible for delivering expansion, has announced further major steps forward in the airport’s plans to improve London’s air quality, as Heathrow gets on with delivering the third runway.

Speaking today at the Policy Forum for London, Emma Gilthorpe said that Heathrow Airport will launch a new programme to incentivise its 6,000 direct employees to acquire a low emission car of their choice. The employees will be able to pay for the car through a monthly gross salary reduction, which will ensure they receive savings in income tax and national insurance, in return for their participation in the scheme. The programme will also offer discounts from car manufacturers for leasing low emission vehicles.

Emma also announced that Heathrow has invited Imperial College London Professor Helen ApSimon to chair the new Heathrow Air Quality Expert Review group. This independent body will provide expert perspectives to ensure a third runway is delivered without compromising the UK’s ability to comply with legal air quality requirements. Prof ApSimon is a renowned authority on air quality, having served on the Airborne Particles Expert Group, the National Expert Group on Transboundary Air pollution, and the Air Quality Expert Group of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Airport say these moves support the goals of the Mayor of London’s new transport strategy to deliver a fairer, greener and more prosperous London by improving air quality, and working towards making London a zero-carbon city. The new measures are part of Heathrow 2.0, the airport’s new sustainability strategy, which aims to make Heathrow a world leader in reducing emissions from all sources of activities, both on and off airport.

Emma Gilthorpe said: “The new mayoral transport strategy sets environmental challenges that we need to meet – and we will. By working in partnership with others, by investing in technological innovation and by being prepared to take the lead sometimes, we can expand Heathrow in the right way. This is not – and must not be – a choice between the economy and the environment.”

The Airport say the real cause of poor air quality is road vehicles, and that they are working with partners to increase public transport options to the airport, as well as initiatives like these – which will encourage the use of cleaner vehicles. Heathrow say that new capacity at an expanded Heathrow will not be released unless it can be done without compromising the UK’s ability to comply with legal air quality requirements.

Place West London are hosting an event focussed on Heathrow 2.0 – the Airport’s new strategy – on July 5, 2017, focussing on the business opportunities it offers for West London. For more information or to book your free place click here.

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