Heathrow Area Transport Forum (HATF) Board Meeting 8
- 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)
- Colin Kemp – Transport the South East (Board Member)
- Shamal Ratnayaka – Transport for London (Aviation Strategy Lead)
- Christian Wolmar – London Cycling Campaign (Trustee)
- Wayne King – Unite (Regional Officer)
- Liz Garlinge – Highway England (Strategic Project Director)
- Rupert Walker – Network Rail (Strategy and Planning Director (South)
- Tony Caccavone – Heathrow Airport Limited (Surface Access Director)
- Andrew Tucker – HATF (Independent Technical Advisor)
- Catherine Jenkins – HAL (HATF Secretariat Support)
- Joanna Walker – HAL (Head of Surface Access and Commercial Strategy)
- Matt Gorman – HAL (Director of Carbon Strategy)
- Ruth Leuillette – Network Rail (Industry Programme Director HS2 and Heathrow)
- Alex Dawe – Airline Consultative Committee (AOC Chair)
- Richard Anderson – Airline Consultative Committee (AOC Chair)
- Graham Vidler – Confederation of Passenger Transport (Chief Executive Officer)
- Adam Tyndall – London First (Programme Director)
Welcome and Introductions
The Chair provided opening remarks and welcomed new guests.
Heathrow Environmental Objectives
- HAL provided a summary presentation outlining how HAL are developing and revising their environmental and sustainability objectives.
- It was stated that the greatest risk to Heathrow’s growth aspirations would be the failure to meet these objectives and that they therefore form a core element of HAL’s business plan.
- HAL confirmed their intention to appeal the recent court of appeal ruling. It was emphasised that HAL are confident the environmental requirements of expansion can be met, in particular the need for Heathrow’s expansion to fit within the UK’s net zero 2050 carbon policy. This will be achieved through using a combination of carbon reduction schemes and carbon offsetting.
- HAL explained that an assessment of the carbon impacts of surface access has been undertaken using passenger and employee surveys, as well as government data. While the carbon impacts of surface transport only account for 3-4% of Heathrow’s total carbon impacts, it is recognised that further work to specifically reduce the carbon impacts of surface transport is needed.
- HAL noted the impact Covid-19 has had on flight demand and consequently reducing carbon emissions. However, HAL explained that this does not change the fundamental challenge of how to reduce the long-term carbon impact of the airport when demand recovers.
- The board emphasised the importance of ensuring the carbon assessment looks beyond the immediate boundary of the airport to ensure it captures activities related to the airport.
- The board queried about the need for airlines to sometimes fly near empty aircraft to protect landing slots and further incentivising operators to operate efficient aircraft.
Developing a surface access strategy for a two-runway airport
HATF presented their proposals for a two-runway surface access strategy
- The chair introduced a paper written on behalf of the HATF board, and in consultation with the Heathrow Strategic Planning Group, providing a proposed approach for developing a new partnership-based surface access strategy for a two-runway airport.
- The key aim of such a partnership-based approach is to develop proposals that effectively and efficiently meet the needs of both the sub-region and the airport.
HAL presentation on their proposals for a two-runway surface access strategy
HAL described how in the short-term they are developing an interim strategy to help manage the impacts of Covid-19, while also developing in parallel a longer-term strategy term strategy looking over the next control period. This will form part of a revised business plan and will inform CAA decision making on the H7 period.
The Board supported the HATF position paper, and in particular agreed that sustainability needs to be placed as the central goal of any future transport strategy. Other observations and questions identified by the board included:
- The Board identified active transport as an area where short terms gains might be made, in particular with changing road layouts to favour bicycles and public transport, which can often be delivered at low cost solution.
- The board identified the risk of long-term messaging around encouraging mode shift being undermined by short term messaging around the use of public transport during the COVID crisis.
- The board recommended that care needs to be taken in ensuring that any new surface access strategy, whether short or long term, does not unduly increase the cost of travel for airport employees, and that any increase in car costs have therefore got to be balanced by reduced public transport costs.
- The board queried whether the CAA will allow HAL to develop a surface access strategy based around partnership working, in particularly if it relies on partnership funding.
- While cognisant of funding limitations, and in particular the impact of covid-19 on Heathrow’s revenues, the board suggested that as much as possible funding for a surface access strategy should be set independently of passenger growth.
- The Board reminded HAL on the importance of any surface access strategy to consider the requirements of freight operators as well as passengers and employees. Developing a freight strategy in partnership is particularly important given that many freight facilities are not directly managed by HAL.
Airport Recovery Update
HAL provided a short update to the Board on the measures the airport has put in place in response to the Covid crisis.
- Network Rail updated the board on the ongoing work being done to progress the Western Rail Scheme. It was confirmed that Network Rail are continuing to develop the DCO (development consent order) application which they would like to submit later this year.
- It was confirmed that Western Rail has a positive business case under both a two and three runway airport
- Network Rail confirmed that in order to submit a DCO there needs to be funding agreement with the Department for Transport, who are themselves seeking a significant contribution from HAL.
- Network Rail noted that if for any reason the DCO submission were to be delayed beyond this year, then it is likely that there would be the need for further consultation which could add 18 months onto the programme. NR are hoping for more clarity on DCO timescales.
- On Southern Access, it was stated that DfT are looking to develop a preliminary strategic outline business case for the scheme, but progress has been delayed due to Covid-19
Date of next meeting: September 2020 (TBC)
Strategy Special Interest event to take place in July 2020