Heathrow expansion ‘will cause travel chaos’ in west London, Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport warns
Speaking at the London Assembly Committee on Transport, Val Shawcross CBE (Deputy Mayor of London for Transport) said Heathrow expansion risked ‘log-jamming’ west London transport links. She warned that adding a 3rd Heathrow runway could cause travel chaos in west London. Val said proposed Crossrail links and a planned upgrade to the Piccadilly line would not be enough to ensure a smooth flow of traffic to an expanded Heathrow. Both Crossrail one and the Piccadilly line upgrade, which are going ahead, were just planned for the existing growth in demand, from population growth. Their expansion is not sufficient to deal with the extra demand from a 50% larger Heathrow. Val raised concerns that “we are in danger of completely log-jamming the public and road transport networks around west London if we do not do the additional high capacity infrastructure.” Also building Southern Rail access to Heathrow risked inconveniencing existing train passengers; they and the existing population should be properly taken into account. With the 3rd runway, the number of passenger’s using Heathrow could rise from around 200,000 per day to 300,000. Of those, about 75,000 passengers currently use public transport while 125,000 travel by car. That means a massive increase in numbers of passengers, and also larger numbers of staff in and around the airport, all also using public transport
Heathrow expansion ‘will cause travel chaos’ in west London, Deputy Mayor for Transport warns
By SAPHORA SMITH (Evening Standard)
Val Shawcross CBE (Deputy Mayor of London for Transport.said Heathrow expansion risked ‘log-jamming’ west London transport links
She warned that Heathrow airport expansion could cause travel chaos in west London
Speaking at the London Assembly Committee on Transport this week, Val Shawcross said proposed Crossrail links and a planned upgrade to the Piccadilly line would not be enough to ensure a smooth flow of traffic to an expanded Heathrow airport.
She said: “One thing to bear in mind is Crossrail one and the Piccadilly line upgrade, which are going ahead, they were all predicated on existing economic growth and existing population growth, so none of that is the additionality you would expect from a Heathrow expansion.
“So they are going ahead but even so, what I’m reading tells me we are in danger of completely log-jamming the public and road transport networks around west London if we do not do the additional high capacity infrastructure.”
Ms Shawcross also warned building Southern Rail access to Heathrow risked inconveniencing existing train passengers.
She said planners must think about “the impact on existing passengers and existing population”.
Ms Shawcross added: “If you’re using existing track there are existing passengers and you need to look at where those winners and losers potentially are.”
After decades of wrangling the Government approved the expansion of Heathrow in October, paving the way for a third runway and increasing the number of passenger’s using the transport hub from 200,000 a day to 300,000.
Some 75,000 passengers currently travel to Heathrow airport on public transport while 125,000 travel by car but with its expansion public transport networks will be expected to cope with over 300,000 travellers a day.
Alex Williams, managing director of planning at Transport for London (TFL), said: “The airport is keen to make sure that there is no increase in high way trips so that 125,000 the aim is to keep that capped at that level.
“So the growth and the strain will be taken on at a public transport network.
“That 75,000 with a full operating expanded airport needs to go to over 300,000.
“So there is a massive increase on the public transport network with full utilisation of the airport.”
The video of the session of the Transport Committee is
The committee asked questions of Chris Joyce, who is Head of Surface Access at Heathrow
Difficult to see how Heathrow could prevent rise in staff road trips to/from airport with 3rd runway
Heathrow has told the DfT that there would be no higher a number of car trips to and from the airport with a 3rd runway than now. But is that actually credible? Neither the DfT nor Heathrow produce easy-to-find figures, but they be located with a bit of digging. There are probably about 76,000 staff at the airport at present. The October 2014 Jacobs report done for the Airports Commission said: “Headline employee commuting mode share was assumed to be 43% public transport and 47% private vehicles (ie. about 35,700 came by car, and Jacobs states: “with the vast majority of those undertaken as single occupancy car trips.”) …” and of the 43% using public transport, about 35% used bus and 12% used rail. There are various estimates of how many on-airport staff there might be with a new runway. The Commission’s Carbon Traded Assessment of Need scenario anticipated the number of staff to be around 90,000, and their highest growth scenario anticipated about 115,000 staff. Heathrow said by 2030 trips by both staff and passengers to the airport will be 53% by public transport, and still 47% by car. Nowhere is there anything to indicate that below 47% of airport employees would get to and from work by car. With 90,000 staff at Heathrow, if 47% travelled by car that would be 42,300 people, (or if 43% came by car it would be 38,700). If there were 100,000 on-airport staff, and 47% came by car, that would be 47,000 people (and if 43% came by car, 43,000). Those numbers are higher than today. This is not including people travelling to newly increased numbers of jobs in the area.
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.