Response by Government to PQ on Heathrow road traffic indicates a 29% increase with a 3rd runway

In a Parliamentary Question by Andy Slaughter (MP for Hammersmith), he asked the Secretary of State for Transport, “what assessment he has made of the number of (a) light goods vehicles, (b) heavy goods vehicles and (c) private cars that access Heathrow airport on a daily basis.” The reply by Jesse Norman, Minister of State at the DfT, said the figures for goods vehicles come from the Airports Commission [now fairly out of date] and the other figures for highway and public transport trips are from an October 2017 DfT document. Heathrow has often said there would be no more vehicles on the roads with a 3rd runway than currently. But the DfT figures indicate the trips by passengers and employees, by cars and taxis,  would be around 60 million in 2030 with no new runway, and about 77 million in 2030 with a 3rd runway. The numbers would be about 66 million by 2050, with no new runway; and about 85 million with a 3rd runway.  ie. a massive rise of around 29% above the number with no new runway, both in 2030 and in 2050. Mr Norman said, to try to overcome this difficulty,  “it will be for an applicant for development consent for the Heathrow Northwest runway scheme to submit a surface access strategy to the Planning Inspectorate alongside their application.”  He did not answer the question, about the current numbers.
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https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2018-11-09.189624.h&s=Runway#g189624.r0

Andrew Slaughter Labour, Hammersmith

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the number of (a) light goods vehicles, (b) heavy goods vehicles and (c) private cars that access Heathrow airport on a daily basis.

Photo of Jesse NormanJesse Norman Minister of State (Department for Transport)

For goods vehicles, the Department draws upon the Airports Commission’s assessment of road freight numbers as published in their Appraisal Framework Module 4 – Surface Access Freight Impacts Study.

In October 2017, the Department published within its Updated Appraisal Report: Airport Capacity in the South East, details of the estimated surface access trips for both highway and public transport trips for each of the airport expansion options as inputs to its non-flight carbon assessment.

Details of the estimates for annual highway trips for the Heathrow Airportoptions are set out in the following table:

Annual highway trips (car and taxi) by passengers and employees at Heathrow, DfT17 central forecasts (millions)

Highway vehicle trips
2026 2030 2040 2050
No Expansion 57.5 59.4 62.7 66.3
LHR Extended Northern Runway 67.7 75.2 78.2 82.1
LHR Northwest Runway 67.7 77.7 80.7 85.5

Source: Department for TransportTable A.2 Updated Appraisal Report: Airport Capacity in the South East (October 2017)

As specified in the Airports National Policy Statement, it will be for an applicant for development consent for the Heathrow Northwest runway scheme to submit a surface access strategy to the Planning Inspectorate alongside their application.

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{Note:  this reply does not answer the question, which was about the current numbers. We do not know if the government has proper figures for these.

If there is no proper current figure for the numbers, it would not be possible to hold Heathrow to a target of not increasing this ….   AW comment]


See Heathrow’s claim there would be no more airport-related traffic on the roads with a 3rd runway than now

https://your.heathrow.com/takingbritainfurther/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Transport-Fact-Sheet_FINAL2.pdf


See earlier:

Even with 55% of Heathrow passengers using public transport there could be 15 million more passenger trips per year by car by 2040 than now

The government claims Heathrow can meet air quality standards in future, even with a new runway and 50% more passengers, because it will (among other changes) ensure that there are no more road vehicles than now – and by around 2031 about 55% of passengers would use public transport.  So is that likely? Looking at passengers only, not freight, and the work done by Jacobs for the Airports Commission, it seems that (2012 data) there were about 70 million passengers, about 20 million of whom were transfers (ie. they did not leave the airport). That meant slightly below 50 million passengers travelled to and from the airport, using surface transport. In 2012 about 59% of these travelled by car (ie. about 29.5 million), 41% came by public transport (28% by rail and 13% by bus or coach).  But by 2030 with a new runway, there might be around 110 million passengers, and around 33% would be international transfers. That leaves around 74 million passengers, and if 55% of them use public transport, that means about 34 million using cars. By 2040, the number using cars might be about 45 million (ie. about 15 million more per year than now).  And about 9 million using bus/coach – which is of course also on the roads. There would have to be dramatic increases in electric vehicles and improved engine technology to ensure no higher emissions in the Heathrow area.  And that is not counting freight vehicles. Or staff.  Or other increased vehicle traffic associated with the 3rd runway.    

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/11/even-with-55-of-heathrow-passengers-using-public-transport-there-could-be-15-million-more-passenger-trips-per-year-by-car-by-2040-than-now/

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