WRATH (Western Rail Access To Heathrow): Tony Travers mentioned need for collective approach towards infrastructure and planning, this is a small example, which has got sign up from local businesses and communities. It's been a long standing problem.
I could, wouldn't want to as it's middle of M25, stand on eastern boundary of my borough and stare at the lights at the end of the runway at Heathrow but I can't catch a train or if I do it takes much, much longer than driving.
We are proposing a rail link from Reading and Slough to Heathrow. It's been adopted by Network Rail and could be open by 2018 and cost is under half a billion. Four trains an hour from Reading via to Slough to Heathrow. Twenty-two minutes from buying tickets at Slough station to checking in.
Return on capital investment in under 10 years is what we predicted in business plan. Area it would benefit is 20% of the UK population. It's about protecting and maintaining a huge part of the UK economy.
Benefits (include): £1.5bn economic activity, £800m for Thames Valley and 42,000 jobs. 113m less car km, 5,100 tonnes less of CO2.
- 70% of foreign owned business establishing in UK locate within 60 mins of Heathrow
- 75% business in Thames Valley state proximity to Heathrow
- 17 m sq ft of office space due for renewal in next 3 years in Thames Valley region
Government has indicated its support for the project. It's good to go but we need to get it moving.
There is an idea of moving the hub airport to the Thames Estuary but it is absolutely essential to retain Heathrow where it is. If Heathrow goes the whole of the Thames Valley area would be blighted and all the houses that are proposed would have very little value.
Related posts and links
EG Focus feature: Why businesses want Heathrow's rail link to go west (£) or EG Sept 1 edition for print version