An expanded Heathrow Airport is vital to support the UK’s global trading ambitions post-Brexit, according to FTA, the only organisation representing the whole
Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy at FTA, comments: “FTA was thrilled by the government’s decision to expand Heathrow Airport because of the opportunity it will offer to develop the UK’s trading base; air freight growth has stalled in recent years due to capacity constraints, while a third runway is vital to achieve Britain’s global trading aspirations, especially after the UK leaves the EU. The Airport Expansion Consultation lays out a comprehensive airport growth strategy which supports and expands the nation’s trading opportunities: FTA is urging the Department for Transport (DfT) to support Heathrow Limited’s ambition so it can press ahead with construction.”
Within the consultation is a proposal to introduce a Heathrow Ultra-Low Emission Zone (HULEZ) by 2022. Under this plan, any passenger or private hire vehicle entering the airport which does not meet prescribed emission standards will be fined; the goal of this scheme is to encourage passengers to use public transport or invest in cleaner vehicles.
Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Urban Policy comments: “While we support the urgent need to improve air quality, Heathrow Airport is right to exclude freight vehicles from the scheme: environmentally friendly HGVs and vans are already flooding the market and HGVs will be subject to a tightening of the London-wide Low Emission Zone from next year. As such, including freight vehicles within the HULEZ would present no long-term benefit to air quality.”
Mr Veitch comments: “We agree with Heathrow Limited’s proposals for managing the construction of the third runway and associated infrastructure. We are also pleased to see rail freight is poised to play a significant part in the construction phase, which will provide a notable boost to rail freight at national level and will improve the environmental and social footprint of the project.
“Heathrow’s proposals for the night-time operation of the third runway reflect the legal requirement for reduced services. We will work with the government and industry to make sure the proposed operations are workable; the plans must strike a fair compromise between the needs of UK businesses, consumers and local residents. We look forward to working closely with the government and stakeholders as the detail for noise controls develops.”