Until very recently, travellers trying to get from the business car park to Heathrow’s Terminal 5 had to crowd into buses for the approximately 2 kilometre trip to the terminal. Now, with the futuristic new ULTra Personal Rapid Transit System, travellers using Terminal 5 business parking have only to call up a pod, which whisks them away to the terminal. The system promises to cut down customer wait time from 10 minutes, for a bus, to around 34 seconds for a pod.
The ULTra pods are completely automated and much quicker than the old bus system. A trip that used to take 10 minutes now takes no more than 5, with the pods smoothly conveying passengers to the terminal at 25 mph. Perhaps the most astonishing thing about the new system is its track, or lack thereof. The four-wheeled pods are laser guided along a curbed course, without the use of a track or rail. This clever innovation made installation of the system much easier and may allow for expansion of the course later on.
Customers heading to T5 from the business car park can summon a pod using the provided computer terminals. Then passengers simply get into one of the 21 pods, which each hold up to four or five people. For added safety, passengers must press a button when they are ready for the doors to close. Customers traveling from T5 to the business car park choose between car park A or B, again utilising a touch screen. Not only is the ULTra pod system more convenient for Heathrow’s business park clientele, it also reduces emissions.
While this is all very exciting news for Heathrow customers traveling through Terminal 5 and utilizing its dedicated business car park, it has absolutely no effect on anyone else. If you are traveling through Terminals 1 – 4, or wish to avoid high airport parking fees, a Heathrow airport taxi is still the way to go. Driving around London can be a real headache, even for long-time residents. Visitors to the area will definitely find taking a Heathrow taxi much easier than trying to deal with heavy traffic and unfamiliar roads.
It may not be a shiny purple and white bubble of engineering brilliance, but a Heathrow taxi saves you the expense of airport parking fees, the inevitable congestion charge for driving around London, and the hassle of wrestling your baggage into and out of the boot. When you need to get to or from the airport, the best thing to do is schedule a Heathrow airport taxi ahead of time. Airports are busy and often stressful, but your journey to Heathrow doesn’t have to be.