What happens next?
Graham Cross, Chief Executive of Heathrow Southern Railway Limited (HSRL), writes:
“The pace of development is accelerating since the invitation from Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on 20 March 2018 for private sector investment proposals for southern rail access to Heathrow.”
Mr Grayling stated that southern access to Heathrow is one of the first projects for which the UK Government is seeking market led proposals for improving the main line rail network in Great Britain. On 8 May 2018, the Government took the next step by issuing a Prior Information Notice seeking to develop market-led proposals for a new rail link connecting Heathrow Airport from the south with Waterloo and Surrey/Hampshire. The Government’s linked Market Sounding exercise is now exploring the appetite for developing proposals and sharing the development risk.
HSRL’s position was encapsulated as follows by our Chair, Baroness Jo Valentine:
‘We welcome the Transport Secretary’s invitation and stand ready to fulfil this once in a generation opportunity to open up Heathrow to train services from London and the south of England whilst also transforming connectivity across the whole region. We want to put many more communities within easy reach of the UK’s only hub airport by train, enabling them to reap economic benefits whilst at the same time reducing road congestion and improving air quality.’