Heathrow Rail Links Mentioned in Parliamentary Questions and Debates

Lord Bradshaw / Baroness Vere – 14th May 2019

Lord Bradshaw: To ask Her Majesty's Government when the expect the platforms at Old Oak Common station designed to be served by trains operated under the Great Western franchise to be open. [HL15711]

Baroness Vere of Norbiton: The new station at Old Oak Common is being designed to offer connectivity between HS2, the Elizabeth Line and the Great Western Main Line. HS2 Ltd will work with its construction partner, once appointed, to optimise cost and schedule. We will make public a Full Business Case, including an assessment of schedule, later in the year.

Lord Berkeley / Baroness Vere – 14th May 2019

Lord Berkeley: To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 15 March (HL14180), what type, or types, of Government support have been considered to support the Southern Rail Link to Heathrow; and whether the criteria for assessing proposals to deliver the project include a requirement to operate trains on the line. [HL15705]

Baroness Vere: Following the publication of the Market Sounding Findings Report, published in December 2018, which showed that none of the schemes put forward were able to advance without Government support, whether that be direct financial support, or by providing indirect support such as guarantees of future usage, my Department has been working to further develop and clarify the outcomes we want to be delivered from this project and is considering appropriate criteria for assessing commercial and procurement models, including minimum requirements required.

Lord Berkeley/Baroness Sugg – 2nd April 2019

Lord Berkeley: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what written representations they have received from (1) railway businesses, (2) aviation businesses, and (3) other interested parties since 1 January on the development of a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow Airport. HL14615

Baroness Sugg: The Department has been engaging with rail and aviation businesses and other interested parties to better understand their views on this scheme. This is being done as part of the work to clarify Government’s objectives for the scheme which was a recommendation of the Market Sounding Findings Report, published in December 2018.

Andy McDonald MP/Andrew Jones MP – 1st April 2019

Andy McDonald MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the capacity of his Department to (a) develop, (b) evaluate and (c) award market-led proposals to enhance the railway; and how many of his Department's officials have been allocated to work relating to those proposals. (236448)

Andrew Jones MP: The Guidance for Rail Market-led Proposals published in March last year is clear that the Department’s role is not to develop these proposals, as they are market-led. The Department has the capacity to evaluate rail market-led proposals in line with the guidance. On 5 December 2018 the Department responded to all promoters who had submitted a market-led proposal in response to the March 2018 Call for Ideas, and my officials are continuing to engage with those promoters whose proposals were evaluated to have the potential to be financially credible without government support.

Seema Malhotra MP/Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP – 21st March 2019

Seema Malhotra MP: The Secretary of State highlights the projected increase in passengers, particularly at Heathrow. In recognising that and planning ahead, does he agree that a new southern rail access to Heathrow serving Surrey and southern markets and going, hopefully, via Feltham in my constituency, will be a positive contribution, increasing the speed at which passengers reach Heathrow and reducing congestion?

Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP: I absolutely agree: we need both western and southern access to Heathrow. That is an important part of ensuring that the airport can expand in a sustainable way, but it will also make a real difference to the hon. Lady’s constituents who work at the airport.

Lord Berkeley/Baroness Sugg – 18th March 2019

Lord Berkeley: To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect an announcement on the next stage of development of a southern rail link to London Heathrow Airport. [HL14180]

Baroness Sugg: The Department has begun working on the recommendations of the Market Sounding Findings Report published in December 2018 which found significant market appetite for financing and delivering a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow (SRLtH) but did not find a feasible proposal able to progress without Government support. We are committed to doing this work as quickly as possible, following which we intend to set out further engagement opportunities to all interested parties.

Lord Berkeley/Baroness Sugg – 14th March 2019

Lord Berkeley: To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the impact of the proposal from Heathrow Airport Limited for early lifting of the Air Traffic Movement cap by 25,000 per year on (1) demand for rail services, (2) road congestion, and (3) air quality. [HL14181]

Baroness Sugg: No assessment has been made. An early lifting of the Air Traffic Movement cap at Heathrow is not Government policy. Any proposal for the early lifting of the Air Traffic Movement cap would be subject to the planning process and would need to form part of an applicant’s development consent application. As part of this process, the Planning Inspector would need to see that there was a proper assessment of the impacts, including a full environmental assessment, and that appropriate mitigations were in place to limit any anticipated impacts.

Rt Hon Tom Brake MP/Andrew Jones MP – 13th March 2019

Rt Hon Tom Brake MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answers of 13 February 2019 to Questions 218813 and 218814, what estimate his Department has made of the journey times to Heathrow Airport from stations in the London Borough of Sutton after the opening of a Southern Rail Link. [229600]

Andrew Jones MP: A new Southern rail link to Heathrow forms part of our long term aspiration to make travelling to and from the airport quicker and easier for millions of air travellers and we recognise the benefit that new connectivity can provide. This project is in the early stages of development and stopping patterns and therefore journey times are not yet known at this stage.

Lord Alton of Liverpool/Baroness Sugg – 6th March 2019

Lord Alton of Liverpool: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the (1) number of deaths that can be attributed to poor air quality in the London Borough of Hounslow; and (2) impact of the proposed expansion of Heathrow airport on such numbers. HL14040

Baroness Sugg: Air quality is a national health issue, which this Government takes very seriously. This is why the Government recently published the Clean Air Strategy, which includes new measures and funding to cut pollution and save lives. Public Health England is responsible for collecting data to better understand public health challenges. This data is publically available via the Public Health Outcomes Framework for England portal, [1] which includes an indicator for air pollution expressed as the fraction of adult mortality attributable to long-term exposure to human-made particulate air pollution. The most recent published estimates available are for 2017. These show 6.4% for Hounslow, which is lower than the London average of 6.5%. The estimates do not cite a specific cause of death of any individual, but reflect an equivalency which is used to assess the impacts of particulate air pollution contributing to death. With regard to Heathrow expansion, the Airports National Policy Statement is clear that development consent would not be granted if the Secretary of State for Transport is not satisfied that the scheme would be compatible with legal obligations on air quality. As part of the development consent process, an applicant is required to undertake a detailed assessment of the air quality effects of the scheme, including during construction, and to put forward to the Planning Inspectorate an appropriate package of mitigations where necessary to ensure compliance with air quality obligations. The applicant is also required to produce a detailed Health Impacts Assessment to set out the scheme’s impacts on public health, including from worse air quality.

Simon Hart MP/Andrew Jones MP – 6th March 2019

Simon Hart MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the new Old Oak Common station will provide an efficient interchange for passengers travelling between Wales and the north of the UK; what organisations will operate those connections; and what the frequency of those connections will be. (226085)

Andrew Jones MP: The HS2 Development Agreement sets out the Sponsor’s Requirements for the HS2 scheme. At Old Oak Common, this includes interchange facilities with the Great Western Main Line and Crossrail services. Our current indicative train service specification that has informed the design of Old Oak Common station assumes that all Great Western franchise and Heathrow Express services will stop at Old Oak Common. This will enable passengers from Wales and other destinations currently served by Paddington bound trains to interchange with HS2 services to the midlands and north of the UK. The frequency of connections is an operational matter that will be determined nearer the time, but we would expect passengers and other stakeholders to be consulted on material changes to future franchise service patterns.