Lilian Greenwood MP, Chair of the House of Commons Transport Committee
Heathrow Southern Railway Limited (HSRL) – the independent venture set up to transform the rail network serving Britain’s busiest airport – has welcomed the call for greater clarity on surface access improvements contained in the House of Commons Transport Committee’s report into the draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS).
In a major report just published, the Committee notes that schemes such as Southern and Western Rail Access are essential for a two-runway Heathrow even before a three-runway airport with an extra 50% capacity is developed. Members recommend a written commitment of policy support for Southern and Western Rail Access be made by the Government in the NPS, along with the provision of clarity around funding and the timeline for delivery, which schemes are needed to support current two-runway operations at Heathrow and which are needed to support an expanded Heathrow. The Committee also calls for the UK Department for Transport’s updated surface access modelling to be published so that the likely impact on road and rail congestion of a new North West Runway at Heathrow scheme is known.
Commenting on the Committee’s report, HSRL Executive Director Graham Cross said:
“We welcome the importance attached by the Committee to improved rail access to Heathrow from both the South and the West for both the existing two-runway Airport and in the context of expansion. HSRL’s scheme for southern rail access to Heathrow is well developed, and the work carried out by AECOM and the rest of our expert team confirms it is a viable, deliverable and affordable proposal for growing the proportion of passengers accessing the Airport by train. In so doing, we can provide one of the key elements in a strategy to reduce road congestion and improve air quality.”
For further information visit www.heathrowrail.com or contact Mark Walker on 01733 767244 or 07742 925753.
Notes for editors:
- Paragraph 43 of the Committee’s report states: “Schemes such as Southern and Western Rail Access are essential for a two-runway Heathrow, never mind a three-runway airport with an extra 50% capacity. We welcome the commitment to Western Rail Access provided by the Secretary of State when he provided oral evidence. We recommend a written commitment of policy support for Southern and Western Rail Access be made by the Government in the NPS, including clarity around funding and the timeline for delivery. We also recommend the Government clarify which schemes are needed to support current two-runway operations at Heathrow and which are needed to support an expanded Heathrow. As part of this, we recommend the Department for Transport’s updated surface access modelling be published so that the likely impact on road and rail congestion of a NWR scheme is known.”
- HSRL intends to create fast, easy and relaxing rail access to Heathrow Airport by building 8 miles of rail infrastructure from the west end of the existing Terminal 5 station. This will enable trains to run from Woking, Guildford and Basingstoke to Heathrow Airport and on to Old Oak Common (for HS2) and London Paddington (for the Elizabeth Line).
- Heathrow Southern Railway will also enable electric trains to operate between Heathrow Airport and London’s Waterloo terminus via Clapham Junction, Putney, Hounslow, Twickenham, Richmond, Staines and other intermediate stations. Waterloo East and Clapham Junction will make Heathrow accessible from Kent and Sussex with just one change of train.
- The best rail journey times projected by HSRL are 16 minutes from Woking to Heathrow, 26 minutes from Guildford to Heathrow and 6 minutes from Staines to Heathrow.
- HSRL forecasts that the new railway will remove 86 million car kilometres from the road network each year.
- HSRL forecasts that the new rail link will be used by 33,000 passengers per day and could be open as early as 2025.