Parliament’s approval for Airports National Policy Statement makes new Heathrow rail links imperative

Heathrow Southern Railway Limited (HSRL) – the independent venture set up to transform the rail network serving Britain’s busiest airport – has reacted to tonight’s approval by the House of Commons of the Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) authorising the next stage of the approval process for a third runway at London Heathrow Airport.

HSRL Chief Executive Graham Cross said:

“Approval of the NPS means the Government’s engagement process with private sector promoters of a southern rail link to Heathrow now needs to be taken forward to a conclusion with urgency.  It is imperative that new rail links to Heathrow are opened as soon as possible to ameliorate existing road congestion and poor air quality whilst anticipating further growth is passenger numbers associated with the third runway.”

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Notes for editors:

  1. The UK Department for Transport is currently conducting a market sounding exercise with potential private sector promoters of a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow (SRLtH).
  2. 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, enabling 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. HSRL forecasts that the new railway will remove 86 million car kilometres from the road network each year, will be used by 33,000 passengers per day and could be open between 2025 and 2027.