Heathrow substantially underestimated cost of surface transport

Heathrow had "substantially underestimated" the impact of the extra runway.

A third runway at Heathrow would cost the UK taxpayer £16bn just for transport upgrades.

Transport for London (TfL) said that Heathrow had “substantially underestimated” the impact of the extra runway.

Tfl’s figure is eight times higher than the £2.2bn that the airport had claimed as it would require upgrades to the road and railway networks that service the airport.

Tfl estimates that the development, which could lead to heavier congestion on London’s roads, buses and trains, will have a £18.4bn price tag.

According to the Financial Times, Heathrow has said that £1.2bn would be raised through public contributions, with the airport spending another £1bn.

So that leaves £16bn for the UK taxpayer to pay. Just for the transport upgrades.

The Airports Commission report, which was published last summer, estimated that the cost to enhance rail and road access would be £5.7bn.

But TfL said that the commission had underestimated the number of extra passenger journeys on the transport network, while it failed to include freight.

TfL said there will be significant consequences, both for the airport and the wider region.

It is anticipated that a third runway at Heathrow would lead to an extra 30m passengers on London’s transport network by 2030.

The £18.4bn figure was revealed after a freedom of information request by Greenpeace.

TfL is not the first to claim that Heathrow has played down the cost of building the third runway. The Airports Commission Report revealed that the runway would cost £18.6bn, £3bn more than the airport suggested.

Last month a new report published by the Mayor of London revealed that the long term health effects of exposure to the extra noise caused by a third runway would be valued at a staggering £20 to 25bn over 60 years.

N.B. Image credit: wikipedia.org

Internet links

Transport for London

Airports Commission Final Report