Road and rail
Heathrow is already the best served airport in the UK for surface access. With our plans 70% of the UK population will be within 3 hours of Heathrow on public transport alone while the M25 will be transformed.
Rail access via the TfL Piccadilly Line, the Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect, as well as road access via the UK’s busiest bus and coach station, the A4, M25 and M4, makes the airport the best connected in the UK.
With expansion, the UK will take advantage of planned public transport upgrades and connect more people to long-haul destinations via Heathrow quicker as a result.
A third runway at Heathrow provides an opportunity to improve one of the most congested sections of the M25. Our proposals will require a new, tunnelled section. The tunnel will be constructed alongside the existing route and minimise disruption to existing users of the motorway.
Once built, new collector/distributor roads will run parallel to the motorway which will segregate airport and local traffic from the main carriageway, adding capacity to the M25. Separating traffic will reduce the weaving of cars from lane to lane and smooth the traffic flow for non-airport M25 traffic.
Since 1991, Heathrow's passenger numbers have doubled but the number of airport related car trips have remained roughly the same.
Having listened to public feedback, we have also revised our proposals to avoid changes to the M25/M4 interchange.
Our outline proposals for the M25 and M25/M4 junction, depicted in the video, were created in in consultation with the Highways Agency and the Agency has provided further information on background traffic forecasts.
Rail upgrades to see Heathrow connected by 5 lines
Between now and 2032, a raft of improvements including Crossrail, Western Rail Access, HS2 access via Old Oak Common and Southern Rail Access will be delivered to make it easier and quicker to get to Heathrow by rail. It’s estimated the trains per hour to Heathrow will double, and seat capacity almost treble with these upgrades.
The volume of passengers using public transport is expected to increase above 45% by 2030, and to almost 60% by 2040 as a result.
- Crossrail: The full opening of Crossrail in 2019 will bring the heart of London’s financial district and much of East London within a 60 minute catchment area for Heathrow.
- HS2: By 2032, Heathrow will be connected to the High Speed Rail network via a new passenger interchange at Old Oak Common providing fast access to the Midlands and improved connectivity to Northern England and Scotland.
- Southern Rail access: This project will improve connectivity between Heathrow and South London, Surrey, Hampshire and the South Coast.
- Western Rail access: Providing fast direct access to Heathrow by 2021 for passengers from Slough, Reading and the Thames Valley and further improve journey times to the South West and South Wales.
- Piccadilly Line upgrades: Will deliver improved frequency and faster journey times.
Find out how your rail journey to Heathrow from Wales and England will improve with expansion via our interactive journey times map, here.
NOTE: The information above assumes Western Rail and Southern Rail Access. For more information, please see “Taking Britain Further: Volume 1” in our downloads section.