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Heathrow proposals would ‘offer a more efficient use of taxis’ so says airport report

25 Jun 2019

Heathrow expansion proposals would offer a ‘more efficient use of taxis’, so says a Heathrow Airport report.

As Heathrow heads towards expanding to a third runway, the airport is taking the opportunity to seek ways to reduce air pollution in the area.

If the extra runway is approved, it is expected there will be more passengers, workers and freight at Heathrow. Airport officials hope to expand the airport without growing the overall number of vehicles accessing the airport. They say this will be achieved through a combination of more public transport use and better efficiency in terms of use on the road network.

As it stands, a whopping 33% of passengers travel to Heathrow by taxis and private hire vehicles (PHV). This is the highest share across all modes of transport.

It is, however, estimated that only a limited proportion of these taxi/PHV trips carry passengers in both directions, which the airport plans to change.

Heathrow are considering a range of measures to make what they say will be more efficient taxi operations, which includes backfilling return journeys and delivering higher vehicle occupancy. These measures could include: 


  • priority taxi queueing for full arrivals – taxis arriving with a passenger are given a preferential lane for re-ranking which would reduce the amount of time spent waiting for their next fare;

  • a taxi sharing scheme – many taxi passengers are heading to central London and other high density urban locations, priority lanes within the forecourt for these customers that are willing to share a taxi could decrease vehicle traffic, reduce the waiting times and costs for passengers.

You can have your say on these proposals by visiting Heathrow’s expansion hub here.

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