Heathrow airport to open a car park for Ubers to tackle 'local distress'


Heathrow is to open a car park for Uber drivers after they caused "a huge amount of local distress" by waiting in nearby villages, the airport's boss has said.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye claimed that the private hire vehicles had been "a real issue" for local communities.

He said airport officials reached an agreement with Uber for the taxi app firm to use geofencing technology to block drivers from being given bookings for air passengers if they are parked in residential streets.

Uber app
(Lauren Hurley/PA)

The new car park is set to open next month. A similar facility is already in place for black cabs.

Holland-Kaye said: "Over the last couple of years private hire vehicles, Uber and their like, have just expanded phenomenally and they started to cause a real issue to our local communities.

"We had Uber drivers parking in people's driveways, leaving their rubbish in their gardens, causing a huge amount of local distress because they were trying to get as close as possible to the airport to pick up a ride.

"We don't control private hire vehicles but I feel we have a responsibility to local communities to do right by them.

"So next month we will be bringing in a new parking area for private hire vehicles where they will be able to wait before they come to the airport."

Uber app
(Anthony Devlin/PA)

Holland-Kaye claimed the case was an example of Heathrow responding to the needs of local communities.

He made the comments during a press conference in Westminster to outline measures being taken by Heathrow to reduce the impact of building a third runway.

Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London, said: "We welcome Heathrow's announcement of a dedicated car park for licensed private hire vehicles as it's something we have been calling for for many months.

"Back in January we stopped booking requests going to any Uber partner-drivers parked in residential streets around Heathrow."