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Heathrow’s new plan for public transport

Heathrow | Heathrow

3 min read Partner content

In his first speech since the Airports Commission recommendation, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye unveiled a five point plan to get passengers and airport staff out of cars and onto public transport.

Speaking at the Runways UK conference, Mr. Holland-Kaye reminded delegates that Heathrow is the UK’s best-connected transport hub. It 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.

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 every year has nearly doubled from 10 million to 19 million and now Heathrow is committing to going further so that even more passengers and a greater proportion of the 76,000 airport staff use these services.

The plan includes goals to:

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 inviting 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 Link to Heathrow 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 – totalling 50% of passengers.  This, along with measures to encourage sustainable transport by employees, makes it possible to deliver an additional, runway without increasing airport-related traffic on the road.

Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said:

“Heathrow is already the UK’s best connected transport hub. We have the UK’s biggest bus and coach station, the Piccadilly line and Heathrow Express.

“Over 40% of passengers come to the airport by public transport today.”

“ With this plan we can take more cars off the road and make it easier for people to access the UK’s only Hub airport."

Read the most recent article written by Heathrow - Heathrow calls on industry to use available capacity in fight against COVID-19

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