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TfL propose cutting Heathrow Airport black cab passenger surcharge from £3.60 to £2


Image credit: LEVC

Transport for London (TfL) has proposed cutting the Heathrow Airport black cab passenger surcharge from £3.60 to £2.


Heathrow Airport operates a unique system for taxi services at its terminals, involving a taxi feeder park where cabs queue before serving passengers. Taxi drivers face a fee to access this park, determined by Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL), aimed solely at covering operational costs.

This arrangement allows for the "Heathrow extra" charge to be placed on passengers, a fee sanctioned by TfL since April 2004, designed to help drivers offset the park access cost. Historically set at roughly half the park fee, this surcharge underwent adjustments in response to the financial strains of the coronavirus pandemic, reflecting the decreased demand for taxi services.


In a recent move, HAL readjusted the access fee back to its pre-pandemic rate, prompting TfL to propose a reduction of the Heathrow extra from £3.60 to £2.00. This recommendation follows a consultation period revealing mixed opinions among stakeholders, with a notable division between taxi users and drivers—the former showing a higher acceptance rate for the reduction.


Entities like The St John’s Wood Society and Gett voiced support for the cut, contrasting with opposition from major service providers such as Addison Lee and various taxi associations. Central to the debate is the argument from HAL that the Heathrow extra should mirror the taxi feeder park fee, a stance echoed by taxi trade associations at Heathrow.


TfL's stance, advocating for the reduction, is grounded in maintaining a balance reflective of historical precedents, alongside considerations of the taxi market's recovery post-pandemic. They argue that this adjustment is in line with overall taxi fare revisions and the evolving dynamics of airport taxi demand.


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