Drop off charge for Heathrow

Fee for driv­ers planned as part of air­port’s bid for the third run­way

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Amita Joshi amita.joshi@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

DRIV­ERS head­ing to Heathrow Air­port will face “emis­sion charges” as part of changes made to tackle air qual­ity and meet the Air­port Com­mis­sion’s rec­om­men­da­tions should a third run­way go ahead.

In an an­nounce­ment made on Wed­nes­day morn­ing by the air­port’s CEO John Hol­land-Kaye, Lon­don­ers ac­cess­ing the air­port will be charged a fee if they don’t meet the stan­dards to “en­cour­age low emis­sion tech­nol­ogy and fund sus­tain­able trans­port”.

The de­ci­sion is part of an ex­tended pro­gramme of changes, in­clud­ing a ban on night flights and a fourth run­way, to meet the Air­ports Com­mis­sion’s rec­om­men­da­tions or­der to se­cure a third run­way.

Pick up and drop off ve­hi­cles will pay a fig­ure “sim­i­lar to conges­tion charges” in the plan, which are ear­marked to be fully in place by 2025.

Mr Hol­land-Kaye said from the money raised from the scheme, around £50 mil­lion will go to­wards “na­tional rail projects”.

He added the fees will not ap­ply to nearby driv­ers or the vil­lagers be­side the air­port, but those driv­ing within Heathrow.

“We don’t have a full, ready-to-go scheme yet and it needs work as it’s still early days,” he ex­plained.

“It does con­trib­ute to rail funds sig­nif­i­cantly and gives peo­ple an in­cen­tive to drive lower emis­sion

in ve­hi­cles. We don’t want to tar­get lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, it’s for pick up and drop off peo­ple.

“We didn’t need to do this, but we’re tak­ing the lead, go­ing be­yond what the Air­ports Com­mis­sion have rec­om­mended.”

The CEO said the changes made should prompt Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron to “make the right de­ci­sion” about the third run­way ex­pan­sion and claimed the air­port will meet its EU lim­its and lo­cal air qual­ity ob­jec­tives with the pro­posed schemes.

Ac­cord­ing to the air port’s fig­ures, an­nual emis­sions fig­ures mainly arise from road traf­fic rather than air­port emis­sions.

How­ever, MP Mary Creagh, chair of the En­vi­ron­men­tal Au­dit Com­mit­tee, wrote on so­cial me­dia that “Heathrow had to go much, much faster in tack­ling air pol­lu­tion”.

n CHARGE AHEAD: Pick up and drop off charges are planned to cut emis­sions as part of Heathrow’s bid for a new run­way

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