26 SEP 2017

CAROLINE SUPPORTS HEATHROW RAIL DEVELOPMENT

Caroline Dinenage MP has written to the Secretary of State for Transport supporting proposals that would see a direct rail line link Basingstoke with Heathrow Airport in as little as 40 minutes.

Heathrow Southern Railway [HSR] Limited's proposed Southern Rail Access Scheme would put an end to her Gosport Constituents having to travel into London or via an infrequent bus connection from Woking to access the airport. The scheme would offer direct services from Basingstoke to London Paddington and Old Oak Common via Heathrow, providing not only access to the airport but also a vital link to HS2 and the Elizabeth Line. By providing an alternative London terminal to Waterloo, the development would also provide much needed capacity relief at peak periods.

The proposed route is in a short section of tunnel from the west end of Terminal 5 station, then mainly on the surface parallel to the M25 to a junction north of Chertsey. Construction of the new infrastructure could be developed with minimal impact on existing railway operations.

HSR's initial appraisal of the scheme shows a Benefit Cost Ratio of 6.82, based on Heathrow's existing runway capacity, and with a third runway the Benefit Cost Ratio increases to 15.37. Both values are much higher than the 4.0 level classified as 'very high value for money' by the Department for Transport, and represent unparalleled value for money for a rail scheme. Construction would be privately financed, helping to free up public sector funding to bring forward other important transport projects. Capital costs are estimated at £1.2 billion.

Commenting Caroline said: 'This is an imaginative project that would ease motorway congestion, deliver reliable journey times and support both local and national businesses, by boosting connectivity with a major, international transport hub. Hampshire has long called for better rail services to Heathrow, and I hope HSR's exciting proposals will be given very serious consideration.'

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