The Potential for Rail Based Park and Ride to Heathrow
FRADD C, W S Atkins and DUFF A, BAA pie, UK
Heathrow Airport is the world's leading international airport and one of the most important economic forces in the UK, and if it is to remain so, there needs to be an effective and balanced transportation strategy, in place to provide good, reliable surfa
Heathrow Airport is the world's leading international airport and one of the most important economic forces in the UK, and if it is to remain so, there needs to be an effective and balanced transportation strategy, in place to provide good, reliable surface access to the airport for passengers, staff and other visitors.
BAA Heathrow's transportation policy, whilst recognising the importance of private transport for many airport users, is firmly focused on improving public transport opportunities and encouraging less dependency on the private car. To this end, BAA Heathrow has set itself a long term goal of a 50% mode share to public transport for non-transfer air passengers (presently 34%), and has also put in place a number of initiatives aimed at reducing the proportion of employees that presently drive to work (presently 78% sole occupants).
BAN's "Freeflow Heathrow" strategy was lautfched at the beginning of 1995 and coincided with the setting up of the Heathrow Area Transport Forum, a voluntary partnership of private sector companies, including BAN, British Airways and nearby business parks consortia, together with a large "number of local authorities and transport operators, to work together to identify and implement various public transport improvements and associated traffic demand management measures across the region.
The sort of measures that BAA and its partners have been working on are too many to list in detail, but include major investment iil the local bus network in terms of improving frequency, quality and reliability of buses, a high profile marketing strategy, discounted fares, car share schemes and cycle/pedestrian improvements. Last year the UK's first ever motorway bus lane was opened along the southbound M4 spur (resulting in time savings of up to 10 minutes at busy periods), and this year will have seen the introduction of the high speed Heathrow Express rail link to London Paddington, both projects financed entirely by BAN.'
Rail is going to play an increasingly important' role in Heathrow's surface access strategy. For many years, the airport has enjoyed good quality rail-air coach links to Reading and Woking, and next year will see the completion of the Feltham Gateway project, which will greatly improve bus/coach links between Heathrow and the South Western lines. Beyond Heathrow Express, BAA is looking to introduce a semi-fast service to St Pancras, and, if Terminal 5 is approved, further direct rail links to the south west and the west are being investigated.
The importance of rail, both now and in the future, has led BAA Heathrow to look at the opportunities that rail based park and ride solutions might offer by way of contribution to its surface access strategy and W S Atkins Planning Consultants were commissioned in November 1996 to undertake a study of the potential for attracting airport employees and air passengers to rail-based park and ride facilities for travel to and from London Heathrow Airport.
Association for European Transport