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Creating the world’s first cycling airport at London Heathrow

Heathrow cycle hub

Heathrow Airport has a vision to become the world’s first cycling airport. At Sustrans we saw huge cycling potential: a workplace big enough to be a city needed cycling infrastructure.

We want to empower the 16,500 people who work at the airport and live within 5km of it, a distance that many could manage on a cycle, to ride to work.

Cycling around the airport can be an intimidating experience with fast moving, heavy traffic. There’s only limited cycling infrastructure at the airport terminals for people who do cycle. Heathrow Airport Limited wanted to change this so that those who already cycle feel safer and those that don’t ride feel encouraged to start.

Our work with Sustrans is leading the way to Heathrow becoming the world’s first cycling airport. Importantly, our partnership is removing barriers to healthier travel choices, by delivering a step change in cycling across the wider west London area.

- Theo Panayi, Sustainable Travel Manager, Future Heathrow

Working closely with Heathrow, Transport for London and other key stakeholders we scoped, prioritised and recommended a network of routes that will connect where people live, to the major areas of employment around Heathrow.

Importantly, we are helping Heathrow draft their cycling strategy that will help set the agenda for aims and investment for the coming five to ten years.

Engaging airport colleagues is key to changing travel behaviour, so we initiated and organised ‘Bikefest’, a week of events designed to encourage and inspire people to cycle for their commute. The event was a huge success that saw nearly 1,000 people involved in 26 events, a staggering 700% increase from our 2016 participation levels.

And to help new or returning cyclists get back in the saddle we ran a series of tailored cycle skills sessions. For example, in just one month we trained 14 airport colleagues through a workplace challenge designed to get staff cycling to work.

We are committed to helping Heathrow become the UK’s first cycling airport, and we’re excited to continue expanding their cycling strategy that will give large numbers of Londoners the opportunity to travel in a safe, inexpensive and enjoyable way.

Theo Panayi, Sustainable Travel Manager, Future Heathrow said: 

“Our work with Sustrans is leading the way to Heathrow becoming the world’s first cycling airport. Importantly, our partnership is removing barriers to healthier travel choices, by delivering a step change in cycling across the wider west London area.”

Want to talk to us about this project or how we may help you? Contact us.