Monorail is coming to Heathrow.
Heathrow is building a driverless monorail system to link the car park on the perimeter of the airport to Terminal One. Initially a trial, due to be completed in 2008, the system promises to replace the irregular car park bus service with 18 monorail pods that will take passengers to and from Terminal 1 in four minutes, every minute. Heathrow hopes to extend the scheme to Terminal 5, where 30 miles of track will be needed and up to 500 capsules.
Martin Lowson, the founder of Advanced Transport Systems, nearly wet himself when describing the possibilities of the project yesterday:
”"People may arrive at Heathrow in style in their BMWs and Mercedes, but then they have to hoik their luggage out of the boot and clamber on to a bus," he said. "Hopefully their journey will now be better. The transport will be waiting for you rather than you waiting for the transport."
He then gushed the one-year trial could merely be a taster of a far more radical scheme, which could be in place for the Olympics in 2012. BAA hopes to roll out the network to encompass the other terminals and eventually to airports across the country.
In the future the idea is that the pods will be capable of taking a passenger to the correct terminal once the flight number is tapped in on a console.
Ah, the future. Is there nothing it can't do?