BAA eco-profiteering? Heathrow kiss ‘n’ fly for 20 quid (GBP)March 17, 2008 at 2:52 am | Posted in Adding capacity, Air Quality, BAA, Cars, Charges, Eco-profiteering, Environment, Heathrow, Heathrow airport, Heathrow expansion, Kiss 'n' Fly, Nitrogen dioxide, NO2, Pollution, R3, Roads, T6, Transport | Leave a comment
Don’t worry. The local transport infrastructure around LHR and the global economy will likely grind to a halt before we reach this stage:
by Jason Beattie, Evening Standard on 17 March 2008, 9:10am
Drivers taking passengers to Heathrow face a £40 charge under secret plans being drawn up by the airport operator, the Standard can reveal.
BAA wants to charge a £20 fee for dropping off passengers by car – on top of a daily parking fee of £20. The airport operator is also looking at a £3 congestion charge fee for lorries using roads around the airport, including the M4.The new pricing regime would be introduced if BAA is given permission to expand Heathrow by building a sixth terminal and a third runway. According to documents seen by the Standard, a new charging regime would help pay for the cost of the expansion, raising up to £137m a year.
It would also ‘mitigate air quality problems’, helping to meet pollution standards set down by the Government. This in turn would open the way for further expansion of the airport. The policy is the ‘best performing’ option if BAA wishes to meet the Government’s stipulation that the expansion would not result in an increase in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels.
The documents say that a charging scheme has ‘merit’ because ‘the on-airport and perimeter road network is very busy, with a substantial majority of the flows being airport-related’. The regime would come into force in 2015 – to coincide with an increase in the number of flights after the introduction of mixed mode, or take off and landings from the same runway.
A consultation on the expansion plans finished last month and a decision is expected before the summer holiday. Conservative MP for Putney Justine Greening said: ‘This report suggests BAA could be rewarded by making huge sums of money out of environmental problems created if the expansion of Heathrow goes ahead – a sort of eco-profiteering.
‘The draconian level shows how severe the congestion problem could be with an extra 40m passengers a year mainly using the local road network.’
Ms Greening said it was disgraceful this information was not included in the official consultation document. She said: ‘How can you have a proper consultation when so many key details were kept from the document?’.
The revelation came as councils representing over six million people joined forces today to state their opposition to new runways at Stansted and Heathrow. The new group – CO2 or Councils Opposing a Second Runway – is an alliance of councils including Hertfordshire County Council and Braintree District Council with the 14 London boroughs opposed to expansion.
• British Airways was criticised today for flying three aeroplanes to Asian destinations from Heathrow with no passengers on board. The flights covered 15,000 miles and pumped out hundreds of tons of carbon dioxide. Shadow environment secretary Peter Ainsworth said: ‘It is ludicrous that British Airways is operating ghost flights in order to keep its take-off and landing slots at airports.’British Airways said the flights were needed to avoid a ‘knock-on’ effect on its schedule.