Heathrow Airport could operate a congestion charge for vehicles if the Government decides to allow it to expand, it has emerged.
Bosses are expected to tell the Airports Commission that they should be able to charge travellers to drive their cars on site, once work to improve public transport at Heathrow is complete.
It is thought that vehicles arriving at the airport would have to pay the charge, but not those merely using nearby routes such as the M25, M4 and A4 routes. The money raised could be ring-fenced and used to help fund future transport infrastructure work in and around London.
Taxis, local residents and those driving the most environmentally-friendly vehicles to the airport may well be made exempt from the charge, a key part of Heathrow's efforts to convince the commission to allow it to build a controversial third runway.
"There's nothing new in charging access to a private site and this is a matter between Heathrow and its customers," according to Professor Stephen Glaister, the director of the RAC Foundation.
"Given the enormous growth potential at Heathrow, it seems right the owner does something to limit the impact of congestion and pollution on those living around the airport.
"Better still if the money is spent fixing potholes on local roads, as is one of the options temptingly being suggested," he adds.
Copyright Press Association 2014