Ul­tra low emis­sion zones part of Heathrow’s new green plan

Most pol­lut­ing planes will be given big­ger land­ing fines in 10-point pro­posal

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

HEATHROW bosses want to in­tro­duce a cen­tral Lon­don-style ul­tra low emis­sion zone for coaches and buses serv­ing the air­port.

The move is part of a 10-point plan to re­duce pol­lu­tion around the air­port, which cur­rently ex­ceeds EU lim­its. The air­port is also con­sid­er­ing hik­ing up land­ing fees for the most pol­lut­ing planes and mak­ing its en­tire fleet of ve­hi­cles elec­tric or hy­brid, among other mea­sures set out in its blue­print to re­duce emis­sions.

It says the com­mit­ments will help cut ground-based ni­trous ox­ide emis­sions at the air­port by five per cent by 2020, com­pared with 2009 lev­els.

Heathrow’s CEO John Hol­land-Kaye said: “Hav­ing spo­ken to the lo­cal com­mu­nity and looked at what we could do to ad­dress noise, which we set out in our 10-point noise ac­tion plan pub­lished last Novem­ber, we wanted to work on air qual­ity.

“We’ve re­duced emis­sions by 16 per cent in the past five years, but we need to go fur­ther.

“Hav­ing made the eas­ier changes, we need to start do­ing the less easy things.”

There are cur­rently two air mon­i­tor­ing points north of Heathrow on the M4, in Hilling­don and Hayes, which ex­ceed the legally-bind­ing EU limit of 40 mi­cro­grammes of ni­tro­gen diox­ide per cu­bic me­tre.

Heathrow claims air­port-re­lated emis­sions, in­clud­ing those from ve­hi­cles car­ry­ing pas­sen­gers and staff to the air­port, ac­count for just 16 per cent and six per cent re­spec­tively of pol­lu­tion at those sites.

How­ever, Mr Hol­land­Kaye said he recog­nised Heathrow had a role to play in re­duc­ing pol­lu­tion around its perime­ter.

That stretch of the M4 is cur­rently ex­cluded from the low emis­sion zone, pro­hibit­ing the dirt­i­est ve­hi­cles, which cov­ers the ma­jor­ity of Lon­don.

Mr Hol­land-Kaye said this was to al­low non­com­pli­ant ve­hi­cles which had accidentally en­tered the zone to exit be­fore be­ing pe­nalised.

How­ever, he said Heathrow was in talks with Trans­port for Lon­don (TfL) about end­ing this ex­emp­tion, as well as in­tro­duc­ing an ul­tra low emis­sion zone for buses and coaches trav­el­ling to the air­port.

He said TfL had been very re­cep­tive to the idea but he was re­luc­tant to put a time frame on the move as it was not within the air­port’s power.

He added that Heathrow was also work­ing with TfL to get more cleaner hy­brid buses serv­ing routes around the air­port.

Heathrow has pre­vi­ously raised the prospect of a con­ges­tion zone for pas­sen­gers and staff trav­el­ling by car to the air­port. How­ever, this is un­likely to be in­tro­duced for many years, if at all.

n GREEN MEA­SURES: Heathrow Air­port bosses, in­clud­ing CEO John Hol­land-Kaye (left) want to cut the pol­lu­tion lev­els cur­rently ex­ceed­ing EU lim­its

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