Heathrow Rail Links Mentioned in Parliamentary Questions and Debates

Lord Berkeley / Baroness Vere of Norbiton – 6th October 2020

Lord Berkeley: To ask Her Majesty's Government how many proposals for southern rail access to Heathrow were received in response to the Department for Transport’s call for market-led proposals, issued on 20 March 2018; what the names of such respondents were; and how many respondents have (1) contacted, and (2) been contacted by, the Department for Transport about those proposals since 13 December 2019. (HL8303)

Baroness Vere of Norbiton: There were two processes carried out concurrently. The first was the Call for Ideas as part of the Market Led Proposals workstream, which was carried out by the Department to explore numerous scheme proposals across a broad range of transport regions and routes; the second was a Market Sounding process that focussed specifically on Southern Access to Heathrow (SAtH) (formerly Southern Rail Link to Heathrow). There were twenty-seven contributors to the Southern Rail Link to Heathrow Market Sounding response. The Market Sounding Findings Report was published by Nichols and Agilia in October 2018, which includes the list of contributors to the Market Sounding questionnaire. The responses provided as part of the process were done under commercial confidentiality provisions. The market sounding exercise did not call for specific proposals but sought to explore opportunities to access significant private sector funding sources beyond just rail passenger revenues, including those derived from wider non-rail benefits, and to understand the appetite of the private sector to share the risk of developing the Southern Access scheme. Following the Market Sounding exercise, in November 2019 the Department published eight Strategic Objectives for the Southern Access scheme and is working to develop a commercial model to bring a private sector partner into the design and delivery of the project. Throughout this process, we have engaged significantly with stakeholders, including a number of those who responded to the market sounding exercise.

Lord Berkeley / Baroness Vere of Norbiton – 6th October 2020

Lord Berkeley: To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in assessing the Outline Business Case for a southern rail link to Heathrow Airport submitted by Heathrow Southern Railway Limited to the Department for Transport in September 2016. (HL8302)

Baroness Vere of Norbiton: In September 2016, the Department received an unsolicited Outline Business Case for a rail link to Heathrow Airport from Heathrow Southern Railway Limited. Subsequently, two processes were undertaken regarding the development of a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow, forming the project now known as Southern Access to Heathrow (SAtH). The Market Led Proposals Call for Ideas, and the Southern Rail Link to Heathrow Market Sounding. The market sounding process undertaken in 2018 did not ask for detailed specific schemes to be submitted, and no procurement process has been undertaken to select a preferred scheme for Southern Access to Heathrow. The Department is working to develop an appropriate ‘market involved’ commercial model for the delivery of this scheme. This is an exciting opportunity to harness new and innovative ideas from the private sector while reducing the burden on fare and taxpayers. The Department has continued to work closely with a range of interested stakeholders on the development of SAtH, including with Heathrow Southern Rail Limited.

Lord Berkeley / Baroness Vere of Norbiton – 6th October 2020

Lord Berkeley: To ask Her Majesty's Government how much civil service time is currently allocated by the Department for Transport (1) for the evaluation of market-led proposals for new railway infrastructure, and (2) for the development of processes for selecting preferred developers for any such infrastructure. (HL8305)

Baroness Vere of Norbiton: Responsibility for the work relating to market-led proposals is part of the day to day duties undertaken by the Private Investment team within the Rail Strategy and Analysis Directorate.

Lord Berkeley / Baroness Vere of Norbiton – 5th October 2020

Lord Berkeley: To ask Her Majesty's Government how many proposals for rail investment other than for southern rail access to Heathrow were received in response to the Department for Transport’s call for market-led proposals, issued on 20 March 2018; what the names of such respondents were; and how many respondents have (1) contacted, and (2) been contacted by, the Department for Transport about those proposals since 13 December 2019. (HL8304)

Baroness Vere of Norbiton: The Department for Transport received a total of twenty-nine proposals to the call for market-led proposals, excluding those relating to southern rail access to Heathrow. Due to commercial confidentiality we are unable to provide details of the respondents. All respondents were contacted at the time of their proposals. The Department has provided assistance to sponsors to develop their proposals and remain available to all sponsors who responded to the call for ideas. Since 13 December 2019 we are aware of engagement with one proposer.

Adjournment Debate – Southern Heathrow Rail Link – 22nd July 2020

Angela Richardson (Guildford) (Con): It is my great pleasure to open this debate and to have the opportunity to explore with ministerial colleagues and others the potential economic benefits of a southern Heathrow rail link. My belief is that a southern rail link fits exactly with the spirit of the times. It exemplifies the ambition set out by the Prime Minister that, after the pandemic, Britain will not only have a thriving future but one that is cleaner and altogether smarter than what went before. This is not the first time that Members have sought to raise the issue of rail access to Heathrow from the south. Indeed, it is the very intractability of this question that causes me to bring it back to the House for further examination today, and I do so with the strong support of my neighbour and hon. Friend the Member for Woking (Mr Lord). With your permission, Mr Deputy Speaker, I wish to briefly cover that history, to look at progress since the announcement of the most recent Government initiative in 2018, to explain what economic and environmental benefits such a link could bring to the nation as a whole, as well as to my constituents in Guildford, and to provide my hon. Friend the Minister with the opportunity to bring us up to date.

Chris Elmore MP / Grant Shapps – 10th February 2020

Chris Elmore MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timescales are for the progress of rail access projects to Heathrow Airport. [14819]

Grant Shapps MP: Network Rail is finalising work on the Western Rail Link to Heathrow (WRLtH) Development Consent Order and will be prepared to submit to the Planning Inspectorate following the agreement of terms between the Government and the Heathrow Aviation industry on an appropriate financial contribution to the project. Network Rail has been advised to expect to submit the application for Development Consent no later than summer 2020, which will mark the next major milestone for the project. On Southern Access to Heathrow (SAtH), my Department has been working to develop an appropriate ‘market involved’ commercial model. Following Ministerial approval and alignment to the upcoming HM Treasury Infrastructure Finance Review, the Department intends to provide further guidance regarding the commercial approach later this year.

Fleur Anderson / Grant Shapps – 10th February 2020

Fleur Anderson MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with Heathrow Airport Ltd on surface access to the airport from Putney in the event that a third runway proceeds to development. [14831]

Grant Shapps MP: As part of the surface access requirements in the draft Airports National Policy Statement, Government has specified that any applicant for development consent should set out the mitigation measures that it considers are required to minimise and mitigate the effect of expansion on existing surface access arrangements. The Department is engaging with a range of stakeholders, including Heathrow Airport Ltd, about surface access to the airport. Following the publication in November 2019 of the potential strategic objectives for a new Southern Access to Heathrow scheme, the Department has been discussing with Heathrow how such a scheme could be taken forward and its future role. Subject to the scheme development, this has the potential to provide improved rail links from Putney and South West London to Heathrow Airport.

Lord Berkeley / Baroness Vere – 4th June 2019

Lord Berkeley: To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 29 May (HL15705), whether any privately funded rail scheme developed under the Market Soundings Finding Report that relies on a guarantee of franchised train operation usage complies with its funding criteria and, if not, whether the only schemes that can comply will be those on which only privately operated open access services run; how many of such schemes on which only open access operators will operate have been submitted; and whether this condition was clearly set out in the invitation to companies to submit schemes. [HL15976]

Baroness Vere: The market sounding exercise undertaken last year did not seek specific schemes to be submitted. The exercise sought to gauge market appetite for the taking of risk in relation to the design, construction, financing and funding of a new southern rail scheme to Heathrow Airport. The briefing document published as part of the market sounding did make clear that for schemes to be considered true market led proposals, full risk would have to be borne by the private sector. This includes the acceptance of revenue risk without requiring undertakings or guarantees by government including of future train usage.

Lord Bradshaw / Baroness Vere – 22nd May 2019

Lord Bradshaw: To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to announce the next stage of the process for selecting a preferred developer for a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow Airport. [HL15710]

Baroness Vere of Norbiton: The Department has not undertaken a procurement process to select a preferred developer for a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow.

Lord Bradshaw / Baroness Vere – 22nd May 2019

Lord Bradshaw: To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect (1) funding to be approved, and (2) an application for a Development Consent Order to be made, for a Western Rail Link to Heathrow Airport. [HL15709]

Baroness Vere of Norbiton: The Government fully supports the development of a Western Rail Link to Heathrow. The development of a five case business case for the Western Rail Link to Heathrow is nearing completion. The Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline sets out the process and principles underpinning funding of enhancements to the railway. Subject a satisfactory business case, and the agreement of acceptable terms with the Heathrow aviation industry, funding would be made available to take the project forward to the ‘Design’ gateway. On that basis, Network Rail expects to submit its Development Consent Order later in the Autumn.