In terms of traffic and passenger numbers, London Heathrow Airport (LHR)is the busiest and biggest airport in the UK and out of the top 4 busiest airport son the globe. The airport lies approximately 22 kilometres west of London city centre and is on the outer boundary of Greater London. It has five spacious terminals and three runways. In terms of connectivity, Heathrow Airport has excellent connectivity to all parts of the city of London. You could choose between different types of transportation options available which include taxis, public buses, car rental-agencies, the Tube etc. The most economical and convenient form of transport for an airport transfer is the Heathrow Express. Park Grand Heathrow is nearby hotel of heathrow airport located approximately 4.8 miles from Heathrow Airport, It can easily be reached within 12 to 20 minutes on any airport transfer service.
The Heathrow Express
This is a high speed train service that will get you from Central London to Heathrow Airport and vice-versa within 16-21 minutes in relative comfort and speed. It was built in 1993 at a staggering cost of £350m and was a collaborative venture between 1993 the British Railways Board and the BAA. The primary purpose of getting it constructed was to try and make the use of public transport much more popular among the general public. It also aimed to increase the number of passengers who commuted to and from the airport from the existing 30% to about 50%.
In fact Heathrow itself employs a large number of workers who stay in central London. This was a well thought out and prudent decision for the city of London. For airport employees it is a very cost-effective mode of alternative transport (at discounted rates) and great for visitors and tourists alike to travel to and from Central London. Actual Operations began on 25 May 1998 with non-stop trains operating the route. The trains that ply the route are custom built and travel at a swift 100mph, which leave their platforms at Paddington Station every 15 minutes from 05.00am to midnight.
Getting from Paddington Station
You can board a train from Paddington Station from either platform 6 or 7. You will also find the Heathrow Express ticket office in this area. Paddington Station is known to be one of the major transport hubs within the area of Central London. It is the junction where four important underground railways lines meet. These are Bakerloo Lines, District, Hammersmith and Circle lines. You will also find taxis close to the Heathrow Express desk. You could opt for a shared taxi with another passenger, which would help to lessen the rate considerably.
You could choose to book Heathrow Express tickets either in-person, or get them pre-booked by phone. They will be sent to the address mentioned by you within the UK only. Another popular option is to go online and book them at the Heathrow Express official website. You could also opt for E-tickets which you will find in ticket machines at London Paddington Station or at Heathrow Airport Station. For kids below the age of 5 travellingis free, and for those children that fall in the bracket of 5 to 15 you will need to pay half the rate of an adult ticket.
Scheme to reduce ticket prices
With the Heathrow Express link being used largely by business passengers, the authorities are planning to slash ticket prices to make it more popular with leisure travellers. As the premium rail-air link from Heathrow to Paddington station,there are plans afoot for large scale restructuring of its operations. This is to enable the presence of more staff on trains to provide even better and higher levels of customer service during peak times,which includes the weekends. At present the percentage of business travellers is approximately 70% with the rest making up leisure travellers. So to attract a higher percentage of the leisure segment the management has decided to introduce lower priced tickets.
The new rates are rather attractive for online tickets, where a customer who books a week in advance is given a single fare of £15 instead of £21. For returns it is only £29 in comparison to £34 earlier. They are striving hard to win the contract to operate further i.e. to Slough and Reading from Terminal 5 at Heathrow, along the proposed new line that will link to the Great Western Mainline from 2021. The ultimate decision of course lies with the Department for Transport.
The Managing Director of Heathrow Express, Keith Greenfield has said: “We are testing in the short term what will and won’t work in the long term.We are reshaping our business so we can deliver the best possible service to our customers, and stand the best chance of running west to the Thames Valley in future.We want to grow all sections of our customer base, in particular leisure. Our hope is that advanced-purchase deals will achieve this.”
He further stated that their main competition came from the black cabs. A study conducted shows the Heathrow Express covers the distance to and from the airport to Paddington, practically thrice as fast as a black cab, besides being far more economical. An added bonus is, it reduces carbon emissions by about half which is great for the environment. With statistics like this, Heathrow Express should be able to outclass its competitors on all fronts!