Heathrow have NOT “sufficiently thought through” proposed charged access for taxis says London Mayor

Heathrow have not “sufficiently thought through” the proposed access for London’s black cabs, according to the London Mayor.

London’s busiest airport has put forward proposals suggesting its plans to CHARGE taxis to enter the airport grounds from 2026.

The Heathrow Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will introduce minimum vehicle emissions standards similar to the London Mayor’s ULEZ for passenger cars and private hire vehicles entering car parks or drop-off areas at any of Heathrow’s terminals, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Over time with the opening of the new runway from 2026, the Heathrow ULEZ will transition into a vehicle access charge (VAC) on all passenger cars, taxis and private hire vehicles coming to car parks or drop-off areas.

Initial proposals for the Heathrow ULEZ could set the charge figure between £10-15, in line with charges set by the Mayor in central London. 

Taxis will be exempt from the HULEZ charges, in line with the London ULEZ scheme. Taxis will however be subject to the Heathrow VAC charge when it comes online with the new runway. Private hire vehicles will be subject to the Heathrow ULEZ and Heathrow VAC charges.

London Assembly Member David Kurten asked the London Mayor whether he understood the unfair impact the move would have on taxi drivers.

Kurten highlighted the legal requirement taxi drivers have to take passengers to any destination within the Greater London area. This is seen as unfair as private hire vehicles are not legally required to take a fare requested via their operators. Minicab operators can pass charges onto their customers, unlike licensed taxi drivers who do not have a set fare structure.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “As with so many issues relating to its Expansion Development Consent Order (DCO), Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) has not sufficiently thought through the operation of its proposed road user access charge which would affect all vehicles accessing the airport.

“HAL has failed to demonstrate a credible plan for an effective road user access charge, which it deems critical to its expansion plans. This again highlights how HAL has been unable to show that it can meaningfully address the severe environmental and surface access impacts of a third runway.”

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