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BBT March/April 2019 cover
March/April 2019

Airlines hit back at Heathrow £15 congestion charge plan

UK airlines have hit back at government plans to charge motorists travelling to Heathrow up to £15 in an attempt to reduce polluting traffic around the airport.

Airports Commission chairman, Howard Davies, has suggested a charge of £10 to £15 could be brought in to encourage more travellers to use public transport to get to Heathrow.

Drivers already face short stay car park fees of £3.80 for up to 30 minutes and rising to £11.30 for a two hour stay.

The move is also backed by transport secretary Chris Grayling and chairman of the National Infrastructure Committee.

But the body representing airlines including British Airways and Easyjet said the ‘H-Charge’ is just “another tax on air travel”.

“When we looked at this, congestion charging to the airport was something that people regarded as pretty extreme,” said Davies.

“But I think now, the congestion charge is hardly controversial in London anymore.”

The former director of the London School of Economics added: “The idea that you should have to pay, you know, ten quid or 15 quid if you really want to drive to the airport and maybe you pay more if you are in a diesel car, I think that is a perfectly politically acceptable thing.”

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The answer surely is to make public transport more affordable/convenient?

Joe Curry's picture
Joe Curry (not verified)

By all means if public transport is possible that will get passengers to all of the Terminals quickly and conveniently at ALL times of the day and night - eg when the flight lands late at 23:10 or bag drop needs to be at 4:30am. I am in favour of reducing pollution where we can, but the view these days is simply 'Slap a massive charge on and that will sort it'. What a naïve, lazy, short sighted and frankly rather ridiculous suggestion. Replace these people with others more equipped to deliver a sensible solution.

Alistair Rowe's picture
Alistair Rowe (not verified)

Like the Brexit Vote the people who live and gain their income in London, in this case the politicians, seem to forget that the vast majority of British people dont live in London. Thus these people from the rest of the UK will likely noty be using public transport to get to Heathrow. Of course if there was an up to date, efficient and cost effective way to ge to get to Heathrow from wherever e.g.a train that didnt require multiple changes in order to get you to Paddingto; then i am sure people will use it. HS2,3,4,5 !

Mark Thomas's picture
Mark Thomas (not verified)

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