Transport Network Users

Expansion will mean a number of substantial changes to the local road networks and the placing of the M25 in a tunnel under the new runway.

These changes have been considered in detail as part of the surface access proposals for an expanded Heathrow.

We have assessed the effects of the Project on users of the local transport network, in particular pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users and vehicle drivers and passengers.

Aspects of our proposals that could cause effects

The construction of new roads, the diversion of existing roads and other works to move services will lead to both temporary and permanent effects on people as they travel on the transport network. Other construction activity, including additional trips produced by construction vehicles and workforce travel, may also lead to disruption for travellers.

Increased passenger and colleague numbers and other operational changes at the expanded Heathrow, such as the location of car parks, terminals and servicing will lead to changes in travel patterns, which could result in effects for transport network users.

A summary of the effects reported in the Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR)

At this point in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process a number of potentially significant effects (both positive and negative) have been identified. These conclusions will be refined in the Environmental Statement, taking into account detailed design information.

The construction and operation of the Project will lead to changes in traffic on a number of existing roads. In some locations this may result in potentially significant negative effects, such as by making it more difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road and increase their feeling of risk from traffic.

At locations where there are existing instances of accidents, changes in traffic may lead to changes in road safety, which could result in an increase in accidents at some locations and a decrease in accidents at others.

The introduction of the M25 tunnel will result in a loss of view of the surrounding landscape for vehicle drivers and passengers as they pass through the tunnel. Changes in traffic volumes and speeds will also result in changes in driver stress at various locations, which is expected in some cases to be positive and in some negative.

Although an increase in crowding is forecast on services between some Network Rail and London Underground stations, including on the Piccadilly line and other services, these changes are forecast to be small and will generally not reduce passenger comfort or make journeys less pleasant.

Measures for reducing potential effects

We will prepare and implement a Construction Traffic Management Plan that will include traffic management measures and controls on construction vehicle types, hours of site operation and delivery routes for goods vehicles. We will also prepare and implement a Construction Workforce Travel Plan that will include measures to encourage the use of sustainable travel modes by construction workers.

A Surface Access Strategy is being prepared and will be implemented. The Surface Access Strategy will detail how surface access to and from the airport will operate and be managed, including measures designed to promote the use of public transport and active travel and make more efficient use of vehicles. Further information can be found in our Surface Access Proposals section.

All new roads and junctions will be designed with consideration for the safety of all travellers, and improvements such as cycle lanes, wayfinding, controlled crossing points and footway improvements will be included where appropriate.

Our plans for a Green Loop around the airport will provide new links for walking and cycling between nearby communities and into the airport via parkways – see our Landscape section for more detail.

Where possible, replacement roads will be built offline from the existing routes to minimise disruption to transport network users. As outlined in our Construction Proposals, good practice environmental measures will also be employed to minimise the effects associated with the construction of the Project.

These measures are included in the Draft Code of Construction Practice and examples include minimising the closure of pedestrian and cycle routes, and when closures are necessary ensuring that suitable alternate routes are provided. Other measures include maintaining access to properties, and the designation and enforcement of construction traffic routes to minimise the effect on local communities.

Have your say

We want to know what you think about our proposals to manage the environmental effects of expansion and, in particular:

  • whether there are any other initiatives or proposals that we should consider to address the emissions from airport related traffic or airport operations;
  • our proposals to help health and well-being, in particular whether there are any proposals that you think we should consider to address the effect of the Project on the health and wellbeing of our colleagues, neighbours and passengers;
  • our noise insulation schemes;
  • what factors are most important as we develop our proposals for noise management, in particular our proposals for the design and implementation of a noise envelope;
  • our proposals for maximising new jobs and training, in particular, whether there are any other ways that we can maximise skills and training opportunities to benefit our local communities;
  • on our approach to addressing effects on the historic environment, including any particular proposals you would like us to consider.

To respond to our proposals please answer the overarching question on the Environmental Introduction page.

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