In what must be one of the strangest moves by the operator of an airport I have ever seen, Heathrow has proposed to make it more expensive to drop off and collect passengers.
Whilst the money raised is not destined to directly used to pay for the tarmac, it is destined to pay for transport improvements which are seen as important in overcoming local opposition to the runway. Basically, Heathrow can promise that the fees will ensure no more traffic than comes to the airport with its current two runways.
The press release says:
A congestion charge would help to discourage drop off and pick up and would apply only for those travelling to the airport – not to surrounding roads like the A30, A4, M4 or M25. Heathrow envisages that there could be exemptions in place for the greenest vehicles, taxis and for local residents, although this would be subject to future consultation. Funds could be ring-fenced to contribute towards major rail, London Underground and road improvements, as well as pay for further sustainable travel initiatives, public transport schemes and community transport improvements.
Strangely the press release also goes on to laud a whole series of transport improvements, none of which Heathrow has paid anything to provide:
Major new public transport schemes are due to be delivered in the next few years. Crossrail will connect the airport to the City and East London; a Piccadilly Line upgrade will provide improved frequency and faster journey times for London Underground passengers; Western Rail Access will provide fast direct access to Heathrow for passengers from Slough, Reading and the Thames Valley as well as improve journey times to the South West and South Wales; Southern Rail Access would provide a new direct connection to south-west London and improve journey times to the south coast. High Speed 2 will connect Heathrow via Old Oak Common to the Midlands and the North.
Read the whole nonsense here.