2019-06-15

The Observer: "Left in a siding: the rail link that could make Heathrow greener"


"Airport and Department for Transport fight shy of backing new line from Staines that would slash car usage"


"Life is easy for the toads and bats of Staines-upon-Thames: the disused railway line has formed a woodland corridor that runs north towards Heathrow. Terminal 5 is just a mile or so further on as the bat flies. But to reach it from Staines station would take a hapless rail passenger almost two hours via three trains.

"That could drop to just six minutes under plans to link Staines and other parts of Surrey to the airport. Yet as Heathrow prepares for a major consultation on its third runway on Tuesday, new rail links are just an option, despite the argument that they would help tackle the airport's pollution problem. They would also be a clear answer to transport secretary Chris Grayling's call for 'market-led' proposals for new railway lines.

"As a precondition of Heathrow expansion, parliament has stipulated that the proportion of passengers travelling to and from the airport on public transport must rise from 39% to 50%."

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