Heathrow boss calls on Khan to extend ULEZ to M25
26 May 2016
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
Chief executive of Heathrow airport, John Holland-Kaye, has written to the new mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, requesting that he extends the ultra-low emission zone to the M25 in order to curb pollution in the capital.
Heathrow is also set to develop an ultra-low emissions zone for airside vehicles by 2025.
These plans, along with a scheme to develop emissions-based charging systems for vehicles accessing the airport, have been put in place as the west London hub aims to secure permission to build a third runway.
The airport claims that most of the pollution in and around the site comes from diesel road traffic.
There are 11 air quality monitoring sites located within 2km (1.2 miles) of the airport, and Heathrow claims that the two monitors not compliant with European Union NOx limits are located north of the M4, where airport-related traffic accounts for just 6% and 16% of NOx respectively.
Earlier this year, Heathrow announced it would install more than 135 electric vehicle chargers to cater for its fleet of at least 260 electric vehicles in a new £2m plan to 'turn Heathrow electric'.
As part of the plan, Heathrow aims to replace a number of vehicles used around the airport to reduce noise and pollution and "help make Heathrow the most environmentally responsible hub airport".
The west London airport currently has a fleet of 400 vehicles, and invested £250,000 in electric vehicle charging infrastructure last year. It currently provides 21 electric vehicle chargers to passengers for free in short-stay car parks.
Mary Creagh, chair of the Commons Environmental Audit Committee, said Heathrow had to go "much further, much faster" in tackling air pollution.
"Promises on future rail links and air pollution charges are seven to 10 years away. People living near the airport need action on air quality much sooner and one quick win would be slashing fares on the Heathrow Express to encourage more people to use it," she said.