Drop off charge for Heathrow
Fee for drivers planned as part of airport’s bid for the third runway
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