The capital’s passenger watchdog has urged that action be taken to halt a fall in the proportion of passengers who use public transport to get to Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton airports.
While the number of passengers traveling to an airport by private car fell between 2012 and 2016, London TravelWatch’s research shows that the percentage using public transport to make the journey has also fallen over this period.
Meanwhile the percentage of people using private hire (mini cab) services to travel to airports has grown, with the percentage of people using them to get to Heathrow increasing from 26% to 31.5% between 2010 and 2016.
The watchdog says current surface access links to London’s airports aren’t of “good enough quality” to increase public transport’s appeal to users, and calls on decision makers and operators to work together to improve services.
London TravelWatch Chair, Arthur Leathley commented: “Not surprisingly, passengers are reluctant to use public transport to get to London’s airports where they consider access to be poor and journeys to be unreliable.
“But it is disappointing that the numbers of people travelling to Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton airports by public transport have fallen. Our report contains a number of specific actions which would help make it more attractive to use public transport to get to London’s airports.
“These include improving interchanges so people benefit from seamless journeys, making it easier to pay by extending Oyster/Contactless on National Rail and increasing acceptance of contactless bank cards on local buses outside Greater London.”