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DEMAND: TfL reports Heathrow Airport taxi usage highest since 2010 despite Elizabeth Line opening

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

The taxi industry has seen a ‘STRONG RECOVERY’ with no adverse effects felt since the introduction of the Elizabeth Line, reports Transport for London (TfL).

There were initial fears from both the trade and the regulators that the opening of the Elizabeth Line could decimate taxi work levels at Heathrow Airport. However, in June 2022 the airport recorded the highest number of taxi movements through the feeder park since 2010, thanks partly to the number of flight cancellations and high levels of disruption at the airport.

Earlier this Spring, members of the Transport for London (TfL) Finance Committee discussed the potential impact of the Elizabeth line on taxi drivers at Heathrow Airport.

In the latest report it discusses the pandemic’s ‘significant impact’ on Heathrow Airport. Social restrictions put in place at the peak of the pandemic saw taxi drivers waiting several hours for a fare and airplanes grounded.

However, as mentioned demand for taxi use has risen significantly not only at the ranks of Heathrow Airport, but across the streets of London too.

The TfL report reads: “Since restrictions have eased and more people have started to travel there has been a strong recovery in demand for taxis at the airport. To date there have not been any reported decreases in the demand for taxis as a result of the Elizabeth line opening.

“At Heathrow Airport there is a large holding area, known as the feeder park, where taxis wait before moving forward to a taxi rank at one of the terminals and picking up passengers. Figures provided by Heathrow Airport Limited have shown that, since March 2022, the number of taxis going through the feeder park has been comparable to or higher than the number from the same months in 2019.

“Representatives of the taxi trade who work at Heathrow Airport have informed us that there has been no decrease in demand for taxis at the Airport since the Elizabeth line opened. We also understand that June 2022 was the busiest month in terms of taxi movements through the feeder park recorded since 2010 albeit this may partly be due to the disruption at the airport and the number of flight cancellations.”


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