Space Age ULTra Pod Track at LHR

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  RichHI1 11 Nov 2011
at 10:13

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  • Anonymous


    Noticed an elevated track being built from LHR T5 out to the Business Car Park on my inbound on Thursday evening. I assume it is for the jazzy new pods transporters which are being tried for the first time in England:

    ULTra Pods carry up to 4 people and will be used to ferry people between terminal 5 and the business car park.

    Not sure female travellers would feel comfy in them alone at night with a strange man.

    Apparent they have the pods in Cardiff already……

    Shame about the seatcovering fabric in the video. Looks like somebody prolapsed after a firey vindaloo the night before….


    Is there any news from BT as to whether this POD system will be rolling out this summer – the track seems finished, but I have not seen any PODs being tested on it recently…..


    Looks like it’s delayed until Spring 2010 now. A good YouTube vid sets out what it will be like:

    A good one for BT to preview with a Trip Report before it is rolled out!


    Report and video on the BBC news site.

    “Watch the full feature on BBC Inside Out West and London on Monday 30 November at 1930GMT on BBC One and nationwide on the BBC iPlayer.”


    This system is also being considered for trialling on a town-wide basis in Daventry, Northamptonshire.

    It is seen as the ultimate in “personalised public transport” (a bit of an oxymoron, one feels – isn’t that what a taxi is?). As a transport planner myself, I must admit that I’m not at all convinced that it would work anywhere but on fixed and limited-distance routes such as between a terminal and an airport car park.



    Has Anyone Got any News on these PODS. The terminal has been open for more than 2 years now and yet I still do not think they are working. Is there a problem? (Duh of course there is! it is being managed by the BAA!)
    Could BT look into this and let us know. Thanks


    I sampled this on a recent – and rare- trip driving myself to LHR T5.

    You need to book into the T5 Business car park to ensure you get the pods, and its best to pre-pay for which you get additional BA Miles.

    Two days away cost me £38, so less expensive than the Heathrow Express for two people.

    I was very impressed; not certain there would be room for four people (another couple tried to get into our Pod, and we promptly escaped as preferred being more private).

    The outbound one was a lot slower than the inbound, so choose wisely!

    You get some great views of the airfield while in transit, and it’s much quicker than a coach transfer.

    Drops you in the car park the floor below the Departures, but the wrong end for the F check in, so it was a bit of a schlep.

    My only criticisms are that:

    1. it wasn’t very well ventilated on what was a warm day; a properly hot day would probably be uncomfortable, and it might be nippy in winter.

    2. there wasn’t much room for luggage (if, for instance, there were four of your travelling in the pod). But I suppose the average business passenger in a short stay car park doesn’t have too much luggage with them.


    VK – how long does it take to get between the car park and the terminal?


    About three mins actual travelling, maybe a 30 secs each end faffing around and positioning the thing into the dock.


    BA car parking is provided by travel extras and you will pay a credit fee on top of the cost of parking. Miles are not awarded until the stay is complete even if you book 6 months in advance.

    BAA advance charge the same and there is no credit card charges and you can get worldpoints which can be converted to BA miles or even airmiles. Moreover BAA advance also provide excellent deals on short term parking in the T5 short stay. The minimum stay is usually 3 days and is around £60 but it is variable and I have obtained it for as little as £45.

    Purple parking also offer superb deals on valet parking and I have recently booked 16 nights for just £90 with drop off and pick up in T5 short term.

    You should always shop around as you will pay for the BA miles and the their valet option, though excellent, is almost 50% more expensive than other reputable operatives. There are around 20 companies offering car parking options at LHR.


    While the Binman sees a glass half empty in his own little Victor Meldrew world, the rest of us get on with enjoying life.

    is where you can book; I hadn’t ever parked my car at LHR and did extensive research; for this particular booking, the price was exactly the same as BAA, and I used my debit card so wasn’t charged a fee.

    No need to hassle over converting BAA miles as the 190 BA Miles are already in my account.


    While the Binman sees a glass half empty in his own little Victor Meldrew world, the rest of us get on with enjoying life.”

    Good, you keep paying top dollar and some of us will shop around and get subsidised by people who don’t.


    Wow £30 million cost !! Well done again BAA….not

    HEATHROW has today (September 16) officially unveiled the airport’s most innovative transport system and the first new example of transit technology in 100 years.

    The unique Heathrow pod system – which took six years to develop at a cost of £30m – consists of 21 low energy, battery powered, driverless, zero emission vehicles capable of carrying four passengers and their luggage along a dedicated 3.8km guide way.

    The pods will carry passengers travelling between the Terminal 5 Business Car Park and the main terminal each year, giving them a smooth and virtually silent five minute ride.

    The journey is on demand and non-stop from start to destination at the touch of a computer screen and the pods even recharge themselves at battery points when not in use so they are always ready to go.

    The Heathrow pods, which use 70 per cent less energy than it takes to power a car, and 50 per cent less than a bus, are expected to eliminate 50,000 bus journeys on the roads around the airport each year.

    John Holland-Kaye, commercial director at Heathrow, said: “The Heathrow pods offer a personal, comfortable and reliable ride that is free of emissions.

    “That’s why our excitement for this pioneering British technology is being shared by town planners, architects, other airports, business parks, campuses, retail and residential destinations from the US, Europe, India, Mexico and the UK, who believe that this system could revolutionise transport in urban environments.”

    More than 100,000 passengers have already used the pods since the service started on April 18.


    I’m a fan of these pods.

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