21st July 2017 update: The E-passport gates have been open a while now and mostly seem to do the job. Nonetheless, Heathrow is still busy and so don’t be surprised if you have to wait.
London Heathrow Terminal 3 are ‘refurbishing’ the E-Passport gates. It seems to be taking some as they have been closed for several weeks now.
On arrival, you walk for several hundred metres, passing broken moving walkways and giant pictures of Londoners with open arms and the caption ‘Welcome’. You’ll then arrive at immigration/passport control and are likely to be faced with this sight:
So much for the ‘Welcome’.
If you were travelling in business or have status with the airline you travelled with, you’ll most likely head for the fast track sign – if you are holding an EU passport then don’t bother, they only let non-EU passport holders through.
When I arrived last Sunday, it took 40 minutes to pass immigration and apparently that isn’t unusual. It doesn’t look like there are extra staff to deal with the absence of the E-passport gates – that too not unusual for London Heathrow.
So be prepared for a wait at T3.