A new report from Greengauge 21 says that it is essential that high-speed rail should serve Heathrow Airport directly, but that the HS2 scheme linking London and The West Midlands should not be compromised to achieve this.
Instead, the report proposes a Heathrow Interconnection Network—new rail links that would shadow the M25, connecting the new high-speed lines to the existing rail network and creating a new surface transport hub station actually at the airport.
The report calls on Government to instigate studies into the detailed options for HSR at the airport and to ensure that provision is made in the work on HS2 for the Interconnection Network to be added in due course.
Greengauge 21 Director Jim Steer said:
“Our evidence shows that the Heathrow Interconnection Network has an excellent business case. High-speed rail would provide an attractive and better alternative to short-haul aviation, both on domestic (main land British routes) and to the near-continent.
“The importance of linking Heathrow to the national rail network is that it would allow Heathrow, with its huge range of business-critical long-haul flights, to serve the whole of Britain effectively, not just London and the South East.”
“We are not seeking to engage in the Runway Three debate. We are simply concerned to dispel the idea that it is not possible to serve Heathrow directly by HSR. There are three sites at Heathrow itself suitable for a HSR station.”
Greengauge 21’s new report entitled The Heathrow Opportunity can be downloaded from www.greengauge21.net.