Newslinks | Heathrow PRT Construction Begins

LondonUnlocked, The NewsEditor

Since we first covered the story here, the construction of the Personal Rapid Transport system has begun at Heathrow airport, reports the BBC.

In the first phase of the Personal Rapid Transit System, 18 of the driverless, low-energy, battery-powered vehicles will be introduced.

Initially they will take people from the new Terminal Five, due to open in 2008, to the business car park.

Heathrow Airport operator BAA said the guided vehicles should be up and running in 2009.

They will travel along a dedicated guideway and be capable of carrying around four passengers and their luggage.

The trial will run for a year before any decision is made to roll the scheme out elsewhere in the airport.

This scheme is essential to making the Heathrow 'experience' a faster and friendlier experience. Giving that London won Destination of the Year at the World Travel Awards only days ago, it needs to maintain its reputation to visitors from around the globe, many of whom make their first stop at the badly congested Heathrow Airport.

Tourism gives so much to London both in terms of promoting culture, and in economic benefit. It is the duty of the Government, the Mayor, and BAA to improve Heathrow and its sister airports in order to keep these benefits flowing.