London’s other purple trains, Heathrow Airport’s shuttle pods, are getting a colourful makeover after a charity was invited to create new designs for them.

The driverless shuttle pods link Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 with the nearby car park and are a free service that, if you happen to be in the area for some reason, is very much worth having a ride in.

Heathrow Airport’s shuttle pods (c) ianVisits

The new pod designs were created by Heathrow Express’ charity partner, Pursuing Independent Paths (PIP) – a charity that helps adults with learning disabilities and autism, to find their voice and lead a life of their choice.

Last year, Heathrow Express organised for a group of adults from PIP, to travel from Paddington to Heathrow Airport. Arriving on the Heathrow Express, the aim of the day was to learn and experience the process of arriving at the airport and going through the process of getting on a flight. This journey can be stressful, scary, and unsettling for those with autism and could result in missed flights for individuals and their family.

Following the tour of the airport, the PIP team took a ride on the Heathrow pods, which transfer passengers to Terminal 5 in a driverless, electric vehicles in just six minutes.

They were then challenged to draw a new design for the pods.

Decorated pod (c) Pursuing Independent Paths (PIP)

Design winner Pamela enjoyed her visit to the airport and was delighted to learn she had won the competition. “I am so happy to be the winner of the Pod design and to be invited back to see it being showcased. The trip to the airport was fantastic and gave me the confidence to make changes in my life. I now have a job at Paddington Central as a welcome host.

The first of the newly designed pods are in use now, and more are planned for the future.


Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with: ,

This website has been running now for over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, it doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether it's a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what you read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

  1. SteveP says:

    Where do these arrive at T5? Despite many visits there, I have never seen one

    • Zeremony says:

      From the Arrivals area there is a lift near a parking garage up to the POD Parking level.

  2. Mike Hudgell says:

    So what happened to the plans to extend them further?

    Seems rather steep £8/person from Thistle or the expensive car park..

    If they went alongside Northern Perimeter Road (on HAL land) they could get loads of traffic from all the hotels etc

  3. David Winter says:

    Not free, at all. Was £5 years ago. Mike mentioned £8. It also serves a hotel that adjoins one of the car parks. I don’t recall its name, but you paid at reception. Was cute, but not really a mainstream technology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Home >> News >> Transport News