Guidance released by Government means new Southern Rail Link to Heathrow faces not being completed prior to 2030

Heathrow Southern Railway Limited (HSRL) – the independent venture set up to transform the rail network serving Britain’s busiest airport – has welcomed publication by the UK Department for Transport (DfT) of its Strategic Objectives for Southern Access to Heathrow (SAtH).  However, HSRL is concerned that the Government does not expect a new railway to be completed prior to 2030.

HSRL Chief Executive Graham Cross said: “We believe our scheme meets the DfT’s Strategic Objectives.

Whilst their publication is welcome in showing the case for a new link, they no longer contain the certainty that this should be a conventional railway.  Injecting uncertainty by considering experimental transport technologies largely untested in the real world will delay the commencement of this vital new public transport link. 

We believe conventional rail is able to carry the volumes of passengers necessary to meet the public transport mode share target in the Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS) passed by Parliament in 2018 along with the ANPS’s requirement to be open as soon as reasonably practicable after the third runway, currently projected for 2026.  Whilst the DfT now envisages any link not being completed prior to 2030, our railway could be open and fully serving Surrey, Hampshire and South West London in 2026 if we start now.

We urge residents, businesses and stakeholders to continue pressing for urgent progress on a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow to meet the existing air quality emergency, ease road congestion and reduce the current high levels of greenhouse gases from surface transport.”

For further information visit www.heathrowrail.com or contact Mark Walker on 01733 767244 or 07742 925753.

The DfT’s Strategic Objectives are here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/southern-access-to-heathrow-strategic-objectives/southern-access-to-heathrow-strategic-objectives.