London’s Heathrow Airport is set to introduce an Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) that will see higher polluting vehicles charged extra to use car parks and drop-off zones on the site.
The plans are designed to improve air quality in the area surrounding the site as airport officials look for ways to offset the environmental impact of building a third runway, which is scheduled to open in 2026.
Set to be introduced in 2022, the zone will use the same emissions standard as the ULEZ in Central London and will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That means any petrol vehicle that does not meet Euro 4 regulations and any diesel that does not meet Euro 6 regulations will be charged an additional fee.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Heathrow expansion is not a choice between the economy and the environment – we must deliver for both. Today’s announcement shows that we will take the tough decisions to ensure that the airport grows responsibly.”
— Heathrow Airport (@HeathrowAirport) May 24, 2019
Val Shawcross, newly appointed chair of the independent Heathrow Transport Area Forum, said: “This is a significant step change in Heathrow’s effort to clean up local ground level air pollution by shifting people into the cleanest modes of transport.
“I have never pulled my punches talking to the airport about local air quality and I look forward to continuing to hold Heathrow to account in my new independent role.”
Heathrow says that the charge is expected to be between £10 and £15, and will be confirmed during consultations. It also said that while the scheme will initially only target more polluting vehicles, the ultimate goal is to have a blanket charge for any vehicle to use its facilities.