Heathrow could grind London transport to a halt

TfL also says it will cost £15bn and £20bn to to cope.

Building a third runway at Heathrow would lead to unprecedented congestion on London’s road, rail and tube networks, transport bosses have warned.

Transport for London (TfL) has published a report showing how a third runway would paralyse the capital’s transport system.

TfL also has estimated it would cost between £15bn and £20bn to improve transport to cope with the increase in passengers a new runway would mean.

It points out that the Airports Commission had only assessed the impact on surrounding roads and public transport up to 2030 – by which time the extra runway is not expected to be operating at full capacity.

TfL found that the number of car journeys per day would double if a third runway was constructed, with the number of daily public transport trips expected to at least triple.

As a result, the report suggests there would be severe crowding on the capital’s rail corridors and regular congestion on the road network surrounding Heathrow.

This is yet another major body saying that the Airports Commission report is a seriously flawed report.

Richard De Cani, Managing Director – Planning, Transport for London:

“The simple word would be congestion – congestion on the road network, congestion on the rail network of a scale that we havn’t seen. The level of crowding you would have on those rail corridors into central London would be some of the worst that we currently see in London and that’s based on 2030 demand, the year of opening. So it’s a level of crowding and congestion that we believe would start to impact quite significantly on the whole performance of the transport network across west and south west London.”
 Valerie Shawcross CBE, Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee:
 “Today we heard that there are clear discrepancies between the Airports Commission’s assessment of transport demand with TfL’s own analysis. For example, the Airports Commission has only planned for passenger demand up to 2030, and does not take into account transport needs with the airport at full capacity after expansion.
Before the Government makes its decision on airport expansion, there are big questions to be answered around what transport infrastructure is needed and who will pay for it. We can’t allow a bigger Heathrow to clog up London’s roads and public transport network.”

The figures

Heathrow says a third runway would enable it to increase annual flights from the current cap of 480,000 to 740,000.

The Airports Commission forecast that with a third runway the number of passengers using Heathrow each year would rise from 73 million at present to 125 million by 2030.

It estimated this would lead to around 110,000 extra trips on public transport per day and 41,000 more by car.

However, when the third runway is fully utilised, TfL predicts those figures will increase by a further 37,000 and 32,000 respectively.

N.B. Image credit: wikipedia.com

Internet links


London Assembly

Surface transport access to Heathrow Airport