Heathrow has called for Network Rail and the Government to accelerate the timeline for a new direct Western Rail Link to the airport so its benefits can be delivered sooner.
Responding to Network Rail’s consultation on the project, Heathrow restated its support for what will be a vital service, directly connecting passengers and businesses from the west and south west to the UK’s only hub airport.
The new Western Rail Link has strong support across a broad area of the UK for the benefits it will bring which include:
Lowering CO2 emissions to the equivalent of 30 million passenger road miles a year;
Easing congestion on roads by taking up to one million cars off the road each year;
Create direct rail connectivity to Heathrow from areas such as Slough and Reading;
Reduce rail journey times to Heathrow from areas as far west as Swansea, Wales.
The project is also set to create up to 42,000 new jobs and £800 million of economic benefit across the Thames Valley and surrounding areas.
Chris Joyce, Head of Surface Access at Heathrow, said, “Given the potential of Western Rail Access and the wave of support behind it, we urge Network Rail and the Government to work with stakeholders to deliver this vital link so that the economic and environmental benefits it can create are secured, and delivered as soon as possible.”
The proposed 3.8km tunnel link…
The proposed project will tunnel a link of 3.8km from a junction on the Great Western Main Line east of Langley, near Slough and will service four trains per hour between Reading and Heathrow.
Over the next ten years this link, along with HS2 via Old Oak Common, Crossrail and Southern Rail could see Heathrow Airport add a further 3 million annual passenger journeys by public transport by 2020 and eventually treble its rail capacity by 2040.
Read Heathrow’s full consultation response here