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Sustainable travel to Heathrow

What can I do to Improve Air Quality?

The choices we make in getting to and from Heathrow will have a significant impact on the quality of air at and around the airport. Here are some ideas of the actions which you can take to do your bit to reduce air pollution:

Cycle to airport

  • Walk, cycle or use public transport instead of taking the car. Try using free web-based journey planners such as at Transport Direct (new window) or Transport for London (new window). These help you to plan your journeys efficiently and can be used for public transport or private car journeys around Britain. For further details of transport links to and from the airport visit the Heathrow Airport Ltd website (new window)
  • Service your vehicle regularly - this can reduce pollution and make it cheaper to run. For example, under-inflated tyres are dangerous and can increase fuel consumption by up to 3%.
  • Adopt a smoother driving style which will reduce pollution emissions as well as wear and tear on your vehicle. If you're an LGV or HGV driver consider Safer and Fuel Efficient Driving as promoted at SAFED (new window). This programme has demonstrated:
    • Average fuel savings of 10.0%
    • Average gear change reductions of 36.9%
    • Reduced CO2 emissions
    • Increased defensive driving skills
  • Heathrow Express
  • Why not try a month of using public transport wherever possible? You can free up time to read or work en route and will see your world from a new perspective! If you do need to drive, think about the vehicle you are using and whether it is the most suitable whilst least polluting for your needs.

What are we doing to Improve Air Quality?

Carshare Schemes

A number of these schemes are now available for Heathrow and the surrounding areas.

Heathrow Airport Ltd supports the Airport Carshare initiative. Already over 4,700 people from 100 different companies have signed up to Airport Carshare at Heathrow. Over 2,800 people carshare regularly (three times a week), from numerous different locations. Find out if there are any Airport Carshare members near you.

  • Surrey car share - Surrey County Council has teamed up with liftshare, the largest implementer of car-sharing systems in the UK, to set up this free on-line service.
  • West London Carshare - The West London Partnership (WLP) is committed to encouraging more sustainable means of travel for the sub-region's residents, employees and visitors. The WLP travel plan co-ordinator works with businesses and local authorities in the west London area to identify and implement methods of travel that are both environmentally and economically sustainable. A range of initiatives and awareness campaigns are also being developed to inform the public about the range of travel methods open to them. In November 2003 WLP teamed up with lift share, the UK's largest implementer of car sharing schemes, to establish this website. The site's aim is to promote all forms of transport and to integrate transport modes from both the public and private sector.
  • Zipcar - Zipcar offers self-service cars and vans for rent by the hour, day, week or month. The vehicles are parked in a dense network of dedicated spaces in several UK cities and can be booked for as little as 30 minutes or as long as 6 months.
  • City Car Club - City Car Club allows you to drive a lovely new car that is just round the corner without any of the cost and hassle of owning it yourself. Members only pay for the actual journeys they make, saving the planet and a large sum of their disposable income along the way.
  • London Car Clubs - This is a site that tells you where all the car club cars in London are.

Public Transport

Major investments are being made in the public transport infrastructure servicing Heathrow Airport with the aim of reducing the number of vehicles travelling to and from Heathrow each day.

Low Emission Vehicles

Air pollution can be reduced by replacing or upgrading existing vehicles on our roads with cleaner alternatives such as electric, hybrid, hydrogen, LPG, Euro IV & V engines or by fitting emissions reduction equipment. Heathrow Airwatch partners support initiatives to increase the use of low emission vehicles both around and inside the airport.


Reduce aircraft engine use on the ground

A number of initiatives in this area include:

  • Supplying power and air conditioning from terminals so that aircraft can reduce use of Auxiliary Power Units and Gruond Power Units.
  • Redesigning taxiways so that aircraft can travel more directly to stands