West Sussex County proposes congestion charge for Gatwick expansion

20 May 2015 (Last Updated May 20th, 2015 18:30)

The West Sussex County Council in the UK is considering the introduction of a congestion charge for motorists if a second runway is built at the Gatwick Airport.

The West Sussex County Council in the UK is considering the introduction of a congestion charge for motorists if a second runway is built at the Gatwick Airport.

The council seeks to have public transport and congestion-free roads if Gatwick is chosen for expansion.

As part of its draft report being submitted to the Airports Commission, the county is recommending introduction of charge for motorists travelling to the airport as one of the possible mitigation measures to control air pollution.

The council wrote in the report: "An assessment on demand management measures in reducing car use at Heathrow Airport was carried out for another module of the Airports Commission's assessment.

"Whilst the outcome of that assessment cannot be directly transferred to a different airport, the overall conclusions that the imposition of additional charges on car users could have a significant impact on car mode share and overall traffic demand, remain valid.

"Depending on the scale of charge imposed, and the extent of the scheme (that is whether it targets passengers, employees and/or taxis), it is possible that traffic generation with the expanded Gatwick Airport could be reduced to 2013 levels."

However, an airport spokesperson was quoted by the West Sussex County Times as saying that the airport plans to remain within the legal limits of air quality levels in case of an expansion, which can be achieved even without the introduction of the charge.

Councillors will discuss the proposed response on issues on air quality to the Airports Commission tomorrow.