Val Shawcross CBE – HATF (Chair)
Mark Frost (MFr) – HATF (Independent Technical Advisor)
Tony Caccavone (TC) – Heathrow Airport Limited (Surface Access Director)
Paul Millin (PM) – Heathrow Strategic Planning Group (Chair, Transport Sub Group)
Shamal Ratnayaka (SR) – Transport for London (Aviation Strategy Lead)
Joanna Grew (JG) – Network Rail (Industry Programme Director [Heathrow & TVA])
Nigel Wicking (NW) – Airline Consultative Committee (AOC Chief Executive)
Adam Tyndall (AT) – London First (Programme Director)
Peter Fisher (PF) – Highways England (Head of Third Party Infrastructure)
Wayne King (WK) – Unite (Regional Officer)
Kris Beuret (KB) – Heathrow Community Engagement Board (Non-Executive Director, Transport & Environment Group)
David Stroud (DS) -British International Freight Association (Policy & Compliance Advisor)
Anthony Smith (AS) – Transport Focus (Chief Executive)
Matthew Furniss (MFu) – Transport for South East (Surrey CC Cabinet Member for Transport)
Mark Purchase (MP) – Confederation for Passenger Transport
Timothy Wells (TW) – HAL (Surface Access Travel and Policy Lead)
Lisa Martin (LM) – HAL (Surface Access Strategy Lead)
James Cornelius (JC) – HAL (Sponsorship Lead)
Liz Garlinge – Highways England (Strategic Projects Director)
Colin Kemp – Transport for South East (Board Member)
Christian Wolmar -London Cycling Campaign (Trustee)
Kathy Slack – Enterprise M3 (Chief Executive)
1. Welcome and Introductions
The Chair provided opening remarks and informed the Board that the LEPs have re-organised their attendance at key meetings so Richard Harrington will be attending from now on in place of Kathy Slack.
2. Covid-19 Recovery Updates
a. HAL Airport Update
HAL provided an update on the impact of Covid-19 on the airport and surface access.
Key points included:
- 460k pax in February (compared to 5.4m in February 2020). Now seen a full year of Covid-19 impacts. 7,700 Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) in February (35k in February 2020). Cargo tonnage has held up well – 100k tonnes in February compared to 115k tonnes in February 2020.
- Travelling through the airport is difficult – check in is taking longer and immigration transaction times are up to 15 minutes per passenger. This has led to queues of up to 6 hours, with average queues 2-3 hours. HAL are pushing Government to provide sufficient Border Force resource.
- 2020 financial results showed only 22m passengers (73% down on 2019), with most of these travelling in the first quarter before the main impacts of Covid-19 hit. HAL made a financial loss of over £2bn.
- Industrial action is planned by Unite and Border Force in April.
- HEx exited Old Oak Common depot in February and handed the site to HS2. Train operations are now outsourced to GWR and are at 4tph after software issues were resolved. HAL would like to thank TfL / MTR for stepping in to fill the gap in service levels.
- Coach services are only operating to Oxford, Reading and Guildford. National Express due to restart a limited operation from 29th March.
- Public transport mode share amongst passengers travelling to the airport was 19% in January and 18% in February (it is normally ~40%).
- Awaiting Global Travel Taskforce report on 12th April. This is being led by the DfT and will recommend when and how international borders should re-open. This will be no earlier than 17th May. The Airport is pre-mobilising which means we are getting ready to hit the button to ramp up when the Prime Minister’s decision is known.
- BIFA asked about ATM stats which HAL confirmed includes all freighters, passenger aircraft and passenger aircraft only carrying cargo. BIFA made the point that re-opening depends on whether other countries are ready to receive tourists. HAL said there is pent up demand for international travel amongst UK residents who will likely go to whichever markets are open so it is very much dependent on the PM’s decision.
b. Board Member Updates
Network Rail – GWR began operating a new timetable on 8th March to coincide with the return to schools. Increase in usage but still only at 15% of normal levels. There have been 12 timetable changes in last 12 months, in a normal year this would be two. Further timetable changes are due with next easing of restrictions, but there will be no significant impact on the Heathrow area. Significant timetable change expected in May as restrictions are lifted further. The ‘Williams Shapps’ White Paper on rail reform is eagerly awaited but not expected now until early summer.
Transport Focus– Transport Focus’ omnibus survey is returning to weekly from Easter (has been fortnightly recently due to the pandemic). Public transport use is increasing slightly but the coming period will be difficult with social distancing still in place. Transport Focus are doing research into types of traveller and whether they will return to PT – this will be published on their website. Lots of messaging around confidence and flexibility to get people back on PT. There is a barometer on the Transport Focus website which monitors safety and confidence in PT amongst users and non-users. Expects there to be a ramping up of focus by the organisation on electrification and the provision of EV charging, particularly at locations on SRN in the coming years.
HSPG – Main concern of the HSPG Surface Access Group is a lack of progress on Western and Southern Rail. DfT’s next steps on the commercial case for Southern Rail were expected in early 2021 but now delayed until summer. HSPG is trying to create momentum and have commissioned Arup to do a review and engage with HSPG members on various factors including economy, carbon, connectivity, and modal shift. Action plan is for HSPG to provide a good summary of the consensus view and a preferred process for developing a robust single option for the DfT to take forward. Most activity of HSPG is on Covid-19 recovery and they appreciate HAL’s financial position and contributions. The Chair confirmed we will discuss Western and Southern Rail at a future meeting this year. The Chair voiced frustration with how little interest CAA have shown in de-carbonisation, green recovery and sustainability in general.
London First -London First agree that social distancing will continue to make things difficult for public transport operators. Hearing people talk about returning to the city instead of returning to the office so we may well see unusual travel patterns driven more by leisure than business / commuting.
HCEB requested an update on PHV and Freight parking and antisocial behaviour in local communities. HAL advised they are building a better relationship with LB Hillingdon and hoping to meet with officers. Will need to meet with other impacted Local Authorities (LAs) as well but need more specific detail on the current issues including a hit list of streets suffering from this problem.
3. Bus Service Recovery
a. National Bus Strategy
HSPG and CPT shared their thoughts on the recently published National Bus Strategy. Key points included:
- HSPG – this is a game changing document. All LAs will need to establish enhanced Quality Bus Partnerships for their area.
- CPT – Operators are expected to co-operate with LAs in partnerships which is a change from previous messages. Lots of concern raised by SME operators but CPT have explained the benefits of the strategy to them. BSOG will only be available to those operating under enhanced partnerships or franchising – this could cause issues in rural areas leaving some services at risk
- CBSSG will be available ‘as long as necessary’ but this is likely to blend in with partnerships starting.
- The National Bus Strategy aims for improvements in ticketing, simplification of fares and other aspects, similar to what TfL have already delivered in London.
- HATF ITA asked whether there are any specific implications for the Heathrow region. HSPG responded that LAs around Heathrow need to work together to achieve collective goals and this would need to be articulated in Bus Service Improvement Plans required of all Local Transport Authorities under the new strategy by end October 2021. HATF, working with HSPG could play a key overseeing and coordination role – this is worth exploring further.
- HAL stated that this is a fabulous opportunity and HATF can play a great role in bringing it together.
b. Report back on February Bus Service Recovery SIG
The Chair reported back on the SIG (minutes circulated with the agenda) and pulled out the potential issue of a gap if CBSSG ends in June and HAL funding not available until January 2022. As noted above, uncertainty remains in respect to CBSSG and further detail is awaited from central government as to how long this will be available.
The Chair informed members of work HATF had done on proposed design principles for the new Sustainable Travel Zone which were drawn from the SIG and previous Board member input at meetings. See slides for details.
Unite asked what is meant by ‘anti-poverty’. The Chair advised we wanted the socio-economic make up of communities to be considered when designing and prioritising interventions, so as to ensure the costs of accessing airport opportunities were not prohibitive for those least able to pay. HATF ITA gave an example of it being cheaper to access the airport from the Paddington Basin than areas in close proximity to the airport under the previous scheme.
c. HAL update on Sustainable Travel Zone (STZ) Proposed Design Principles
HAL thanked all those who had provided input through the SIG and thanked the Chair and HATF ITA for their work on design principles. HAL ran through proposed design principles for the STZ – see slides for details.
HSPG stated that this looked like a sound platform to build a new scheme around.
HCEB stated it is important to look at transport-related social exclusion as well as those already working at the airport – need to make it accessible for all.
5. Demand Management
a. Greater London Boundary Charge, ULEZ and LEZ
TfL provided an update on the Boundary Charge and ULEZ / LEZ changes. See slides for details.
LEZ standards tightened from 1st March 2021 which aims to reduce NOx emissions by 30% in 2021.
ULEZ area will be expanded to the whole of inner London which is forecast to reduce emissions by 30%. Almost 80% vehicles are already compliant.
The Boundary Charge is included as an option in TfL’s Financial Sustainability Plan from January 2021. A feasibility study is underway.
- TfSE stated that pre-Covid, 61k Surrey residents commuted across the boundary daily and the Mayor’s Office stated revenue would not spent on cross border enhancements to alternative modes so Surrey CC will be opposing. TfL responded noting that this was an ongoing discussion, that the implications of air quality were something that had to be considered carefully and that improvements in outer London would need to be looked at if the scheme went ahead. The Chair added that new sources of revenue will be needed for future transport enhancements given the implications of electrification and reduced income from fuel duty.
- Unite raised concern that Team Heathrow colleagues living outside of Greater London would be subject to the charge and it will impact on low-paid workers. He gave the example of workers from Slough travelling a short distance to the airport, which was presumably inside the proposed zone. TfL responded that it would be part of a package of measures that could include PT improvements (including for access from outside Greater London) to ensure there is an alternative to driving. There could be links to the bus coordination work spoken of previously.
- It was noted that the Boundary Charge is very much a ‘possible option’ at present, and the Mayor is on record saying he would prefer not to implement this and agree instead with government a fair cut of VED income for Londoners (currently London receives no funding from this pot).
b. Forecourt Access Charge (FAC)
HAL provided an update on the FAC. See slides for details.
Key discussion points included:
- BIFA asked if EVs would be exempt. HAL said they would not be as scheme aims to reduce congestion, not just emissions. The Chair stated there should be some incentive for driving an EV to the airport.
- HSPG understand drivers and outcomes but a key sticking point is the application of revenue – they want it hypothecated and believe there would be greater buy-in from stakeholders if this was the case. HAL advised there are no plans to hypothecate the income. Investment in sustainable transport is incorporated into our H7 Revised Business Plan which is being reviewed by the CAA. Hypothecation would add complexity and not necessarily increase investment in sustainable transport. The Chair provided an update on conversations she has had, including with HAL’s Director of Carbon and believes what really matters is the level of investment over the coming years, so this needs to be confirmed.
- BIFA asked why there would be no barrier system. HAL confirmed it was considered but an ANPR system is better for passenger experience, traffic flow and safety.
c. Car Parking Strategy
HAL updated on status of car parking and advised HAL is reviewing its car parking strategy. See slides for details.
Key discussion points included:
- Unite raised concerns about the increase in ORC for a colleague car parking space in 2021.HAL advised it tried to alleviate the issue through early engagement with the CAA and requesting a Business Rates reduction from Government, but to no avail. HAL is not making money from this, it is purely to recover actual costs in operating and maintaining the car parking spaces (including business rates etc). It is believed a small number of employers pass the cost on to employees – Unite stated colleagues should not be charged to go to work. The Chair requested Unite and HAL pick this up outside of the meeting.
No items raised