Heathrow opening a car park just for Uber drivers to address “local distress”

Heathrow plans on opening a car park just for Uber drivers after reports of them creating “a huge amount of local distress” by lining up waiting for passengers in villages near the UK’s largest airport.

Uber drivers waiting to pick up Heathrow passengers have been accused of keeping engines running, playing music during early-morning hours, and littering in small residential roads near the airport.

Heathrow will be opening a car park for Uber drivers to tackle local distress caused by the private hire cars.

The airport believes that it has a responsibility to the surrounding local communities to address the issue.

Heathrow’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, said: “Over the last couple of years private hire vehicles, Uber and their like, have just expanded phenomenally and they started to cause a real issue to our local communities.

“We had Uber drivers parking in people’s driveways, leaving their rubbish in their gardens, causing a huge amount of local distress because they were trying to get as close as possible to the airport to pick up a ride.

“We don’t control private hire vehicles but I feel we have a responsibility to local communities to do right by them.”

The new Uber-specific car park will open next month.

Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London, said: “We welcome Heathrow’s announcement of a dedicated car park for licensed private hire vehicles as it’s something we have been calling for for many months.”

Earlier this year the ride-sharing firm added a feature which blocks drivers parked in residential streets around the airport from receiving bookings.

Elvidge added: “Back in January we stopped booking requests going to any Uber partner-drivers parked in residential streets around Heathrow.”

The Uber car-park plan was unveiled as Heathrow announced that it would be willing to ban night flights between 11pm and 5.30am, from their current 11.30pm finish and 4.30am start, as part of an effort to boost government support for a new runway.