Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye has unveiled a five point plan to get passengers and airport staff out of cars and onto public transport.
Heathrow already has the UK’s only dedicated non-stop express airport rail-link and free travel zone. It contains the UK’s busiest bus and coach station and it’s the only airport served by London Underground stations.
Mr Holland-Kaye said that over the last 25 years, passenger numbers have risen by almost 80% but airport related road traffic has remained broadly static. The number of passengers using public transport has nearly doubled from 10 million to 19 million a year.
Heathrow Airport says it is now committing to go further with a five point plan:
1. Make public transport easier and more attractive for passengers
This includes better onward travel, new coach routes and making the Heathrow Express more attractive by simplifying ticket purchases and allowing children to travel for free.
2. Ensure major rail projects are prioritised and delivered
Heathrow has committed to continued support of Network Rail to deliver Western Rail Access to Heathrow (WRAtH) which would enable 1 million passengers in the Reading and Slough area a quick, reliable and car-free connection to Heathrow.
3. Welcome more public transport services
Many people need to access the airport at night including airport staff arriving for early shifts and passengers for the first flights out in the mornings. Heathrow will work with Transport for London to introduce a 24 hour tube and bus service between west London and the airport.
4. Shift airport employees on to public transport
Make it easier for the 76,000 Heathrow employees to get to and from work, educating them on available transport options such as car-sharing, public transport discounts and encouraging employees to cycle to and from work.
5. Help local authorities deliver their local transport priorities
Over the past ten years, Heathrow has spent over £25 million on projects to increase public transport use and reduce car dependency. Heathrow will work with local authorities, handing over£1 million to help them unlock potential schemes to reduce emissions. The work with local authorities will also include a new plan to make sure that minicabs limit their impact on the local community.
New public transport infrastructure such as Crossrail, HS2, Western Rail Access, Southern Rail Access and upgrades to the Piccadilly Line could enable 15 million more passengers to use public transport to access Heathrow by 2030. The Airport say this, along with measures to encourage sustainable transport by employees, would make it possible to deliver an additional, runway without increasing airport-related traffic on the road.