Heathrow Area Transport Forum (HATF) Board Meeting 9
- Val Shawcross CBE – HATF (Chair)
- Kathy Slack – Enterprise M3 (Chief Executive)
- Mark Frost – Heathrow Strategic Planning Group (Head of Transport and Environmental Strategy, LB Hounslow)
- Kris Beuret – Heathrow Community Engagement Board (Non-Executive Director, Transport & Environment Group)
- David Stroud – British International Freight Association (Policy & Compliance Advisor)
- Anthony Smith – Transport Focus (Chief Executive)
- Shamal Ratnayaka – Transport for London (Aviation Strategy Lead)
- Christian Wolmar – London Cycling Campaign (Trustee)
- Liz Garlinge – Highway England (Strategic Project Director)
- Rupert Walker – Network Rail (Strategy and Planning Director (South)
- Tony Caccavone – Heathrow Airport Limited (Surface Access Director)
- Adam Tyndall – London First (Programme Director)
- Nigel Wicking- Airline Operators Committee (AOC Chair)
- Andrew Tucker – HATF (Independent Technical Advisor)
- Catherine Jenkins – HAL (HATF Secretariat Support)
- Joanna Walker – HAL (Head of Surface Access and Commercial Strategy)
- Matt Furniss– Surrey County Council- (Cabinet Member for Transport)
- Graham Vidler – Confederation of Passenger Transport (Chief Executive Officer)
- Colin Kemp – Transport the South East (Board Member)
- Wayne King – Unite (Regional Officer)
Welcome and Introductions
The Chair provided opening remarks and welcomed new guests.
Covid-19 Economic Recovery Update
HAL provided an update on the airport’s current operations and
- The airport experienced a good recovery in July against passenger forecasts, but these numbers quickly dropped off as new quarantine measures were introduced.
- Heathrow continue to lobby the government on airport testing upon arrival to reduce the quarantine period. Whilst there has been increased coverage on the governments testing regime, there is no likely update on airport testing regime until current testing challenges are resolved.
- Heathrow noted their inability to go about testing without government support. Without the supporting policy change, testing will be a meaningless act.
- Greatest recovery in leisure focused passengers in comparison to business travel.
- There is a need for confidence in the operation of long-haul services to key destinations such as New York.
- Colleagues utilised the terminal multi storey carparks to support social distancing on staff buses. Colleagues have since started to return to the perimeter car parks and continue to take advantage of the free travel allowances on HEx for Heathrow colleagues and discounted travel for team Heathrow.
- Surface Access team continue to encourage colleagues to utilise public transport services, but it is vital that communication is aligned with central government messaging.
- It was stated that public transport guidance in the UK is behind those of other countries.
Passenger Services on Public Transport
- Results from the recent Transport Focus study on the impact of the current Covid-19 crisis on public transport were presented to the board.
- It was noted that passenger numbers for train travel was currently at 30% of pre-Covid levels, where demand has been led by leisure travellers; whilst bus was operating at 50%.
- Research shows public anxiety about fellow passengers who avoid using face coverings and the business of services which may result in the inability to maintain social distancing, as well as the cleanliness of services.
- Observed increase in logistics related traffic.
- Whilst there has been an increase in leisure cycling, more research is required to identify modal shift in relation to active travel.
- London First highlighted that London has a key opportunity in terms of its hub location
- Further observed increase in parking issues in residential areas. Heathrow are in the process of organising a site visit with HCEB to discuss the issue.
- It was also observed that the current crisis has helped to accelerate the industries environmental agenda. The recent retirement of the 747 fleet and imminent retirement of the A380 fleet will help support the fight to reduce noise and carbon emissions
Report Back on the Development of the 2R Surface Access Strategy
HAL shared and discussed the ‘2R Surface Access Strategy Update.
- The targets previously set within ANPS had greater significance into legislation supporting DCO. The new targets are interim and won’t be bound with the same significance.
- It was confirmed that the 2R SAS is to be finalised by December 2020
- Transport Focus stressed concern over the passenger public transport mode share targets. It was argued that the possibility of increasing this target appeared ambitious. Rather emphasis should be given to maintaining 2019 levels, as Heathrow possess greater control over colleague target.
- Heathrow confirmed the colleague car trip was most difficult to achieve under DCO as this required buy in from all team Heathrow organisations. Higher proportion of colleagues driving to the airport than passengers.
- Changes in PT demand are going to be volatile for the next few years. However, we are not powerless to influence this, policy tools like HVAC, fares policy, parking restrictions etc may all play a part in encouraging people to reconsider again the habitual use of the car.
- TfL raised concern around funding to take forward schemes and enable achievement of targets.
- Airlines have also made a request for cargo strategy to help determine what is trying to be achieved and infrastructure required.
- Airlines have noted inability to invest in surface access initiatives, instead focus is being placed on airport maintenance and operations.
- It was queried whether the introduction of the HVAC scheme would reduce the cost of surface access for the airlines.
- HVAC will reduce cost to airlines but it’s important that it doesn’t deter passengers from using Heathrow and supress demand.
Partnership Approach to Operational Delivery
Members of the board continued discussions on how to adopt a partnership
approach between Heathrow Airport and key stakeholders to ensure
- Opportunities for pathfinder projects to assist collaboration.
- Whilst Heathrow is restricted with capital to support initiatives, resource available to support and provide complimentary measures to targeted interventions.
Update on Western Rail Access
- Lobby pack circulated to members of HATF Wider Forum, Local Recovery Forum and other key stakeholders.
- Scheme is still a priority project for both Network Rail and DfT.
- The department has outlined the scheme is part of its key priorities. This is subject to a satisfactory business case and funding agreement with Heathrow Airport.
- DCO has not yet been submitted as it requires a funding statement to support.
- 12-18 month anticipated delay in programme due to the need to redo the environmental assessment and need for an additional public consultation.
The Chair outlined the proposals for the forthcoming wider forum webinar proposed to be held on Thursday 3rd December.