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Transport for London / PCO Licence no 08004/01/01
12 - Jul - 2017

Airline Bosses Warn Heathrow Against Proposed “H-charge”

Airline chiefs have hit out at Heathrow Airport’s  proposal for a “H-charge”  to reduce toxic air near the airport as part of plans for a third runway. They said it would be yet another “tax on air travel” and warned Heathrow against punishing passengers   who could not get to the airport by public transport.

This follows Sir Howard Davies’ suggestion that a charge of £10 to £15 could be imposed to reduce the number of pollution vehicles being driven to Heathrow.

His stance was supported by Lord Adonis, chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, saying the airport will need a “congestion cordon” if it expands.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling also believes there’s need for some form of low emission zone around the airport.

Heathrow is considering the introduction of a congestion charge, as EU limits for nitrogen dioxide continue to be breached across London, as well as around London.

Airlines UK, whose members include British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, easyJet, Monarch and Flybe have warned against the move.

Chief executive Tim Alderslade said: “We need much more consultation on this proposal – its knock-on impact on congestion elsewhere and its effect on consumers. This will, in effect, be another tax on air travel.”

He added that most of the pollution around Heathrow was not as a result of traffic to the airport and said that the situation calls for better public transport, including a better western rail access.

 “Whilst access is very good in places, from the West and South, in particular, it is scratchy at best and it seems unfair to penalise people who have no other reasonable way, other than the car, of getting to their destination,” he added.

Heathrow has assured that even with the third runway, road transport around the airport will not be affected. The airport’s top brass added that a congestion charge would be a “last resort” and if ever applied, would only apply to vehicles going to the airport, with a possibility of exempting the greenest vehicles, taxis and local residents.

By Airport Pickups London