View Full Version : Pedestrian access to LHR

2nd May 2006, 13:03
Is it possible to walk into LHR? I first thought of this flying back on 7th July last year, worrying about busses / tubes etc), but now I work in Stockley Park, about 2 miles from Terminal 1, a relatively easy 40 mins walk, but the tunnels have no pavements (or gas masks for the fumes).

Is it possible, or just a weird thought?

2nd May 2006, 13:16
If I recall correctly, the eastern side tunnel [inbound] that used to be for taxis only, has a walkway on the left hand side. Just enjoy getting to that point!

2nd May 2006, 13:19
access on foot thru the tunnels is NOT permitted. You are likely to get a lift in a Police car if you try. Signs are at each end of the tunnels.

2nd May 2006, 14:49
The small-bore side tunnels were built for such traffic. One was for pedestrians (in the 1950s presumably quite a few Heathrow workers walked in from buses on the A4) and one for bicycles.

A few years ago, as usage had become negligible, they were converted into supplementary entry/exit tunnels for cars. As part of the deal for abandoning pedestrian right-of-way access, regular London Bus services were made free on the section from Heathrow to the first stop beyond the tunnel. So the original poster can take any bus from Heathrow out to the A4, then walk the rest of the way, for nothing. BAA make an annual payment to London Buses for this service.

BTW our house is a 20-minute walk across the docks from London City terminal and I always like to walk to and fro, if only as a discussion point at my destination meeting !

2nd May 2006, 15:23
The small-bore side tunnels were built for such traffic. One was for pedestrians (in the 1950s presumably quite a few Heathrow workers walked in from buses on the A4) and one for bicycles.

Each of them had a cycleway and a footpath. Wish I had a quid for every time I walked it (before the days of cash dispensers, run out of money on a Saturday night, spend half Sunday trekking out to LHR and back just to cash a cheque).

2nd May 2006, 20:57
Hadn't realised he pedestrian tunnels had gone. Have fond memories of walking into Heathrow (we'd parked outside for some reason) to visit Queens with mum and dad in the early sixites (Ahh! Aer Lingus Viscounts, Air France Connies and BEA Pionairs). Feel kind of insecure about not being able to walk to a place - showing my age no dout.

3rd May 2006, 06:41
I had walked through the main tunnel into LHR T1 many years ago, and about half way thought I might die from the traffic fumes - not a good idea. It is an interesting point that is being highlighted though, regarding pedestrian access.

Of course you can still take the long way around and walk into T4, and catch the bus around, although I haven't done that for many years, so don't know if it is possible still.

3rd May 2006, 14:07
Most interesting. I did not realise that pedestrian acccess was closed. When driving through the small bore tunnels, I'm watching the sides more than I am checking new signage for the would be pedestrian!

3rd May 2006, 14:19
For anyone who has not driven through the small bore tunnels before they can come as a bit of a surprise ! They are alongside and just outside the main dual carriageway tunnel. If approaching Heathrow stay in the left-hand lane of the M4 spur round the roundabout at the tunnel entrances.

You can get a car through but it is tight both vertically and laterally. I wonder how many hit the sides on the way through. I would think even a Land Rover would be too high. It's amusing to take first-time visitors to Britain from the US through the outbound tunnel and comment on why cars are smaller over here !

I wonder what the procedure is for handling breakdowns inside them ! It must have happened.

If leaving T1 and going up the M4 spur I often find it quicker at busy times to take the slip road round directly into the small tunnel (avoiding all the traffic lights in the central area), you have to go up the slip road at the other end to the perimeter road and then round past the Pink Elephant entrance and back down again, but it can still be quicker.

Correct me if I'm wrong, Heathrow historians, but do I recall that some years ago the east side small tunnel was converted into an empty taxi-only entrance from a taxi holding area where the Park One car park is now, through to the central area, and the west side small tunnel was the only one for foot traffic and cycles ?

By the way, again correct me if I am wrong but the "free London Bus" facility from the Central area to outside the airport appears to be completely unpublicised in the airport, and if you are not "in the know" you can end up unwittingly paying a fare.

3rd May 2006, 15:50
There is always the HEX (train) linking the Central Area and T4, use that for free also. You are right, the free bus network is not very well publisised. I often chuckle seeing people swipe their "oyster cards" on the LT buses for airport-airport internal journeys. they have deducted 80p when the journey is otherwise free. Works the other way of course when people override say to Kingston on the 285, and stay on after Hatton Cross.

3rd May 2006, 23:29
I notice that the Heathrow website has a new version of the free transport map (http://www.heathrowairport.com/assets/B2CPortal/Static%20Files/Space_Invaders_map_05.pdf). Although it's dated February 2005, I'm sure that it hasn't been on the website for that long. At any rate, this map has always been useful for showing you exactly how far you can go for free on the bus,

6th May 2006, 06:05
If you are coming from Stockley Park get the A10 Bus, only takes about 10 Minutes.

8th May 2006, 08:28
I frequently use the A10, an excellent service (albeit a bit dodgy in the mornings from Uxbridge), at 80p with an oyster card it's the best way to do it.

It's just that on a sunny evening, finishing work at 5.30pm, with an 8pm flight to somewhere exotic like Stavanger, a nice leg stretch would be useful before being cooped up for 2 hours.


8th May 2006, 23:01
I once hit seventy mph going through one of those side tunnels. It was like takeoff from battle star gallactica. And it was about 0200! Mad but has to be done once.


9th May 2006, 08:32
I once hit seventy mph going through one of those side tunnels
Company vehicle presumably :)

13th May 2006, 18:27
WHBM - I regularly drive the company Transit van through the side tunnel. They are bigger than they seem from inside your car !

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