Heathrow Area Transport Forum (HATF) Board Meeting 10
- Val Shawcross CBE – HATF (Chair)
- Mark Frost – Heathrow Strategic Planning Group (Head of Transport and Environmental Strategy, LB Hounslow)
- Shamal Ratnayaka – Transport for London (Aviation Strategy Lead)
- Christian Wolmar – London Cycling Campaign (Trustee)
- Liz Garlinge – Highway England (Strategic Project Director)
- Joanna Grew- Network Rail (Industry Programme Director [Heathrow & TVA])
- Tony Caccavone – Heathrow Airport Limited (Surface Access Director)
- Adam Tyndall – London First (Programme Director)
- Nigel Wicking- Airline Operators Committee (AOC Chair)
- Wayne King – Unite (Regional Officer)
- 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)
- Kathy Slack – Enterprise M3 (Chief Executive)
- 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)
Welcome and Introductions
The Chair provided opening remarks and welcomed new guests.
Suspension of Heathrow Free Travel Zone and Travel Subsidies
HAL shared and discussed the Suspension of Heathrow Free Travel Zone and
- HAL stated their intention to ensure the changes are as temporary as possible and will work to ensure these services are reinstated once the financial position of the company improves.
- Heathrow travelcards are no longer available for purchase.
- Non-TfL supported services will be paused in January 2021, with TfL operated services to stop during the course of the year.
- Rail discounts will end from the 1st January 2021.
- Colleagues will still be able to benefit from free travel on Heathrow Express services.
- HAL intend to retain Inter Terminal Transfer (London Underground). This is due to the relatively low cost of operations and resilience it provides to the airport heavy rail link.
- Ensuring there is suitable provision within the Regulatory Business Plan to reinstate services in 2022.
- The airline community noted their around the impact of the removal of the PT subsidies on colleagues who are lower paid. These colleagues are the ones most impacted by the furlough schemes and other changes around the airport. Lack of consultation prior to the announcement, meant that the airlines were unable to make concerns known.
- Three bus routes within Surrey County Council affected by the decision; however, the council are working to support these affected services. The majority of funding received from HAL were for the early morning and evening services.
- SCC recently secured funding for ULEV buses and for bus priority measures. The fund is targeted at AQMA’s, of which Spelthorne is identified as one.
- TfL expressed disappointment at announcement, as well the challenge of affected parties finding alternative modes of transport, most commonly private vehicles. There is a need to articulate time scales and conditions of the reinstatement of these services and offers.
- There was a call for support from both the airline community and the regulator to make adequate provisions, recognising the importance of SA to the airport and the cost of SA identified as an operating expenditure.
- HAL are encouraged to conduct impact assessments on individual routes in collaboration with local authorities.
- It was also highlighted that the Free Travel Zone was initially introduced to provide low cost mobility between campuses. The provision of alternative sources of funding to support the FTZ might help to mitigate any potential unintended consequences.
- Union representatives sought clarification on understanding the timeline of the decision being made and announcement.
- Currently, Heathrow Express is operating 2tph from Paddington to Terminal 5; a step down from previous operations of 4tph.
- TfL Rail currently operating 2tph into T5.
- Capacity at T5 is for 4tph, due to HEx single platform operation at Paddington, resulting in limited capacity at T5.
- Single platform operations at Paddington was brought in to facilitate wider timetable change in December 2019, when the electrification of GWR was complete and introduction of the Elizabeth Line. However, due to the delay in the Crossrail Programme, HEx were requested to give up a platform at Paddington to enable timetable change.
- Due to the impact of Covid-19, HEx stepped down to 2tph, allowing TfL Rail to also operate 2tph to T5.
- The introduction of the new HEx Class 387 is as a result of HEx’s requirement to vacate Old Oak Common and facilitate the construction of High Speed 2.
- When the new Class 387 are brought into service, it is HEx’s intention to return to 4tph to T5. This will result in TfL Rail’s inability to operate to T5, rather provide additional services into CTA.
- It was noted that passenger who use MTR will have to changeover to reach Terminal 5.
- OpEx costs of running 4tph to T5 is limited due to the outsourcing of costs to GWR. This is due to government agreement with GWR.
- It was agreed by all that two separate interest groups are to be set up to discuss both issues in further detail and prospects of a phased recovery.
- Additionally, it was suggested that work could be undertaken to develop a stimulus package to encourage the use of public transport in the coming months.
Forecourt Access Charging
- Previously consulted upon the introduction of a form of Road User Charging with Airport Expansion Consultation. Initial proposals would cover air quality issues around the airport, morphing into an access charge for all vehicles once the 3rd runway was opened.
- Road User Charging appears to be the greatest tool to promote modal shift into public transport.
- Charge will be levied only on airport forecourt.
- HAL welcomes the opportunity to consult transport forum members over the next few months.
- Further work still to be done to determine level of exemptions.