Feltham and Heston MP Seema Malhotra has called for a railway line serving Heathrow from the south with a station at Bedfont to be considered by Network Rail in its plans to create a route that accesses Heathrow from the south.
Jacobs has announced that it was awarded a contract by Network Rail to continue its support for improving rail links from the Great Western main line to Heathrow Airport.
Under the terms of the contract, Jacobs is supporting Network Rail’s development consent order (DCO) submission. The initial project work is focused on defining a preferred option to take through consultation. Once a recommendation is agreed upon, Jacobs’ role is to lead the multi-disciplinary engineering and environmental design component to an approval-in-principle level of design for the new 3.1 mile tunneled route. This includes completing the environmental impact assessment to produce the scheme’s environmental statement, which critically informs the engineering design, construction strategy and environmental mitigation program to minimise impact on local residents and the environment during both construction and operation phases.
Surrey County Council has revealed plans to launch a study to examine the possibility of creating a rail link to Heathrow from the south in the month the airport celebrates its 70th anniversary.
Around 9,000 people from Surrey work at the airport but there is currently no direct rail link from the county.
It means that more than three-quarters of them currently commute to Heathrow on the county’s roads*, which are among the busiest in the country.
The news comes after a Network Rail report suggested there was a strong case for a new route connecting Heathrow, which opened on 31 May 1946 as London Airport, to Waterloo, Guildford and Basingstoke – generally referred to by the industry as ‘southern rail access’.
Last year the authority called for a new rail service to Waterloo from the airport via Staines and improved rail access to Heathrow was previously identified in the council’s rail strategy as key to helping boost economic growth.
Surrey has already thrown its weight behind the Crossrail 2 project and called for full electrification of the North Downs Line for the benefits it will bring for commuters and the county’s £37 billion economy.
Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning Mike Goodman said: “Good transport links are vital for economic growth.
“Thousands of people travel to Heathrow from Surrey every day, whether it’s to go to work or fly for business or pleasure.
“But rail links to the airport from the county are poor and Surrey’s roads are among the country’s busiest. That’s why we have decided to launch this study, irrespective of whether Heathrow expands.”
Arup has been commissioned to write the report, which is expected to be published by the summer, and discussions are now taking place about the key areas it should cover.
*Heathrow Airport Employment Survey
Network Rail has begun a consultation into the western rail link into Heathrow requesting input into the preferred route and the proposed access routes for construction traffic into the compounds. The link is expected to 5.5km long with construction taking five years. Tunnelling is expected to take 15 months.
The consultation is expected to close on 4th April 2016
Source: Network Rail
The empty station box below Heathrow Terminal 5 has been toured by the BBC in this video. The station box is expected to be used by trains using a western route into Heathrow.
Source: BBC News
The planning application to deliver a rail link providing access to Heathrow Airport from the west has been delayed from early 2016 to late 2017. Local businesses have criticised the decision about the project, which will improve journey times between Reading and Heathrow Airport.
Source: BBC News