Fleet News

Heathrow travellers face new £5 charge

THOUSANDS of business travellers driving to and from Heathrow Airport could face a £5 toll charge under a new scheme proposed by London mayor Ken Livingstone.

He said proceeds from such a congestion charge would help fund the new CrossRail link which involves a new east-west line through London with an extension to Heathrow and is a 50/50 joint venture company formed by Transport for London (TfL) and the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA).

Speaking at a conference in London, Livingstone said he was confident the planned congestion charge for London would shortly be allowed to proceed.

'I would then move rapidly to put in a congestion levy around Heathrow airport,' Livingstone added.

TfL confirmed that Livingstone has expressed interest in a scheme for Heathrow Airport but said it had not been requested to study such a plan.

'It is very early days', the spokesman said, 'and Ken Livingstone is looking at different ways to finance CrossRail. We have not been approached to look at such a plan for Heathrow Airport.'

It is estimated that two-thirds of Heathrow's 130,000 passengers a day use a car to reach the airport, meaning the proposed 'tax' would hit millions of travellers a year.

News of the Heathrow charging scheme comes soon after Transport for London managing director Derek Turner told Fleet News last week that fleets could face 'pay as you go' fees when their vehicles drive into London.

The company confirmed that it wants to move from congestion charging to electronic road charging in the capital as soon as technology allows.

The initial London congestion charging system is scheduled for introduction next February, but depends on the outcome of calls for a judicial review by Westminster City Council.

Under the scheme, the vast majority of vehicles will incur a £5 per day charge.

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