Buses that ply the streets around Heathrow Aiport, connecting passengers and staff to the airport will cease to be free of charge from this weekend.
The Heathrow Free Travel Zone makes use of TfL and local bus services, and is subsidised by the airport to encourage more use of public transport. Based on pre-pandemic usage, the TfL services were costing the airport around £1.2 million a year, which the airport pays to TfL.
The airport having been hit badly by the pandemic says that it needs to cut costs, and has been phasing out its subsidised transport over the past few months.
The final move, to cancel free bus travel comes into effect from 12th June.
However, apart from raising the cost of local public transport for passengers, it also raises the cost of getting to work for staff who live locally. Although some discounts have been negotiated with other travel providers, staff are still having to pay for a service which was included with the job.
The airport has indicated though that the suspension of the Free Travel Zone is a temporary decision, and could be reversed when its finances improve, which they expect to be next year.
Free tube and train travel between terminals within Heathrow Airport are covered by separate arrangements and are not affected by curtailing of free travel on the buses.