Heathrow Southern Railway Limited welcomes launch of Transport Acceleration Unit and calls for priority attention to Southern Access to Heathrow

Heathrow Southern Railway Limited (HSRL) – the private sector venture set up to transform the rail network serving Britain’s busiest airport – says the UK Government’s launch of a new ‘Acceleration Unit’ should make resolving the issue of a new public transport route to Heathrow Airport from the south a top priority.

HSRL Chief Executive, Chris Stokes, said:

“We congratulate Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on recognising the need for acceleration of infrastructure delivery to help the UK bounce back from the pandemic, and stand ready to assist in resolving the decades-long issue of a southern rail link to Heathrow Airport.

“Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris told Parliament on 22 July that the he would “move forward at pace” with this project and it is now time for the Government to follow through on his commitment.

“We’ve been ready since the Government issued its call for ideas in March 2018 to get started on building this urgently needed railway, which will make a major contribution to reducing carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions by enabling a dramatic modal shift of airport users and commuters from road to rail, as well as reducing congestion on the M25.”

For further information visit www.heathrowrail.com or contact Mark Walker on 01733 767244 or 07742 925753.

Notes for editors:

  1. HSRL intends to create fast, easy and relaxing rail access to Heathrow Airport by building 10 kilometres of rail infrastructure from the west end of the existing Terminal 5 station, mainly in tunnel, to connect to the existing rail network near Staines and Virginia Water.
  2. The House of Commons held an Adjournment Debate during the evening of Wednesday, 22 July at the request of Angela Richardson MP (Conservative, Guildford) on the “Economic benefits of a southern Heathrow rail link” to which Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris MP gave the winding-up speech for the Government.
  3. The current public transport mode share for passengers using Heathrow Airport is just 39%.  HSRL’s new rail link will enable electric 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), providing a new route to central London.
  4. 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 South London, Kent and Sussex with just one change of train.
  5. The rail journey times projected by HSRL are 19 minutes from Woking to Heathrow, 29 minutes from Guildford to Heathrow and 6 minutes from Staines to Heathrow.
  6. HSRL forecasts that the new railway will remove 86 million car kilometres from the road network each year, bringing a saving of around 8,600 tons of carbon dioxide and 2 tons of NOx per annum.  It is forecast to be used by 33,000 passengers per day and could be open by the end of 2027.