Connection with London airport could transform county's economic fortunes

Daily Echo: The project involves a spur connecting Heathrow with the Great Western mainline The project involves a spur connecting Heathrow with the Great Western mainline

IT is the £500million railway which could transform Hampshire’s economic fortunes.

A new rail link directly connecting the county to Heathrow Airport would slash journey times and see business opportunities soar.

Now the ambitious project is a step closer after Network Rail announced its chosen route for the multimillion pound scheme.

The project involves building a spur connecting the London airport with the Great Western Mainline – which branches down towards the county on its way to Bristol and South Wales.

It would cut journey times from Southampton to Heathrow from an hour and 45 minutes to an hour and 23minutes by 2021.

Currently passengers must travel into London Paddington before doubling back on themselves to reach the airport.

Two years ago the scheme was included in part of the Government’s list of rail projects – with ministers committed to investing the cash. Network Rail considered four separate routes before making its final decision.

The chosen route involves branching off the mainline east of Langley, near Slough, Berkshire, with new tracks and a 5KM (3.2mile) tunnel running to Heathrow’s Terminal Five where platforms have already been built.

The airport combines direct and transfer passengers to support 78 per cent of all UK long-haul flights.

Its leaders claim businesses trade 20 times more with countries they can reach via a direct, frequent flight.

Southampton City Council transport and environment cabinet member Jacqui Rayment hailed the plans as “encouraging” and added: “Given Southampton’s easy access to Reading by rail, this will help to make us a more attractive investment opportunity for new and existing businesses, by further reinforcing our status as a major international gateway for the UK.”

Airport chief executive Colin Matthews said it will open up new opportunities for trade and added: “Network Rail’s plans will enhance Southampton’s links to global markets, and that is good news for the local economy.

“Heathrow is already the bestplaced British airport for the UK as a whole and we are delighted we will be faster to get to for passengers and businesses.”

The project is expected to generate more than £2 billion in economic benefits to the UK and 40,000 new jobs and one million fewer car journeys.

Comments (12)

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12:53pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Andy Locks Heath says...

This is not good news for the south and west and if Jacqui Rayment thinks it is then she is in the wrong job. It is ridiculous that the south west has no direct rail access to Heathrow, yet there are means to provide one that require comparatively little investment - in fact less than the Western lines are proposing. South West Passengers today are expected to get off at Woking and lug their bags to a Railair coach which then takes its place in the M25 logjam to creep towards Heathrow. Is it any wonder hardly anyone uses it? The South western link by contrast would use the existing junction at Byfleet and proceed north along existing lines through Virginia Water to Staines where reinstatement of the western chord - a mere 400 yards - is all that is required to continue via the Bracknell Line to the old Colnebrook line. This runs parallel to the M25 before turning in towards Terminal 5 then turning east through the same tunnel that would carry the Western line proposed in the article. This is just another example of the south of England subsidising transport everywhere else (including Scotland) and getting insufficient investment of its own. The Waterside rail link economics were flawed - and this notion to make southwest passengers travel via Reading is just proof of the bias. How this is supposed to benefit business in the south (rather than the west) is beyond the comprehension of any rational person who has studied the proposal. Colin Matthews must have screwed himself into the ground with such a ludicrously spun piece of nonsense -and only someone of Jacqui Rayment's calibre would have swallowed it.
This is not good news for the south and west and if Jacqui Rayment thinks it is then she is in the wrong job. It is ridiculous that the south west has no direct rail access to Heathrow, yet there are means to provide one that require comparatively little investment - in fact less than the Western lines are proposing. South West Passengers today are expected to get off at Woking and lug their bags to a Railair coach which then takes its place in the M25 logjam to creep towards Heathrow. Is it any wonder hardly anyone uses it? The South western link by contrast would use the existing junction at Byfleet and proceed north along existing lines through Virginia Water to Staines where reinstatement of the western chord - a mere 400 yards - is all that is required to continue via the Bracknell Line to the old Colnebrook line. This runs parallel to the M25 before turning in towards Terminal 5 then turning east through the same tunnel that would carry the Western line proposed in the article. This is just another example of the south of England subsidising transport everywhere else (including Scotland) and getting insufficient investment of its own. The Waterside rail link economics were flawed - and this notion to make southwest passengers travel via Reading is just proof of the bias. How this is supposed to benefit business in the south (rather than the west) is beyond the comprehension of any rational person who has studied the proposal. Colin Matthews must have screwed himself into the ground with such a ludicrously spun piece of nonsense -and only someone of Jacqui Rayment's calibre would have swallowed it. Andy Locks Heath
  • Score: 2

2:49pm Mon 10 Feb 14

george h says...

Andy Locks Heath wrote:
This is not good news for the south and west and if Jacqui Rayment thinks it is then she is in the wrong job. It is ridiculous that the south west has no direct rail access to Heathrow, yet there are means to provide one that require comparatively little investment - in fact less than the Western lines are proposing. South West Passengers today are expected to get off at Woking and lug their bags to a Railair coach which then takes its place in the M25 logjam to creep towards Heathrow. Is it any wonder hardly anyone uses it? The South western link by contrast would use the existing junction at Byfleet and proceed north along existing lines through Virginia Water to Staines where reinstatement of the western chord - a mere 400 yards - is all that is required to continue via the Bracknell Line to the old Colnebrook line. This runs parallel to the M25 before turning in towards Terminal 5 then turning east through the same tunnel that would carry the Western line proposed in the article. This is just another example of the south of England subsidising transport everywhere else (including Scotland) and getting insufficient investment of its own. The Waterside rail link economics were flawed - and this notion to make southwest passengers travel via Reading is just proof of the bias. How this is supposed to benefit business in the south (rather than the west) is beyond the comprehension of any rational person who has studied the proposal. Colin Matthews must have screwed himself into the ground with such a ludicrously spun piece of nonsense -and only someone of Jacqui Rayment's calibre would have swallowed it.
The Fat Controller hasn't got any calibre that's measurable. An utter incompetent in the wrong job.

So nothing new there then Andy. One has only to look at Lordy Chris Smith at the Environment Agency to see another of Yesterday's Guilty Men who was promoted beyond his competence.
[quote][p][bold]Andy Locks Heath[/bold] wrote: This is not good news for the south and west and if Jacqui Rayment thinks it is then she is in the wrong job. It is ridiculous that the south west has no direct rail access to Heathrow, yet there are means to provide one that require comparatively little investment - in fact less than the Western lines are proposing. South West Passengers today are expected to get off at Woking and lug their bags to a Railair coach which then takes its place in the M25 logjam to creep towards Heathrow. Is it any wonder hardly anyone uses it? The South western link by contrast would use the existing junction at Byfleet and proceed north along existing lines through Virginia Water to Staines where reinstatement of the western chord - a mere 400 yards - is all that is required to continue via the Bracknell Line to the old Colnebrook line. This runs parallel to the M25 before turning in towards Terminal 5 then turning east through the same tunnel that would carry the Western line proposed in the article. This is just another example of the south of England subsidising transport everywhere else (including Scotland) and getting insufficient investment of its own. The Waterside rail link economics were flawed - and this notion to make southwest passengers travel via Reading is just proof of the bias. How this is supposed to benefit business in the south (rather than the west) is beyond the comprehension of any rational person who has studied the proposal. Colin Matthews must have screwed himself into the ground with such a ludicrously spun piece of nonsense -and only someone of Jacqui Rayment's calibre would have swallowed it.[/p][/quote]The Fat Controller hasn't got any calibre that's measurable. An utter incompetent in the wrong job. So nothing new there then Andy. One has only to look at Lordy Chris Smith at the Environment Agency to see another of Yesterday's Guilty Men who was promoted beyond his competence. george h
  • Score: -1

2:53pm Mon 10 Feb 14

mikeyt says...

a 22 minute saving!! Woo hoo!
a 22 minute saving!! Woo hoo! mikeyt
  • Score: 4

3:05pm Mon 10 Feb 14

jackois says...

An hour and twenty-three minutes to travel 70-odd miles... currently an hour & forty-five?
Trainline gives it's best at £33 and 1 hour & 55 minutes.

Even on a bad day, I can make Southampton to Heathrow in an hour by car and about £15 in fuel.

Sounds like a winner to me... not!
An hour and twenty-three minutes to travel 70-odd miles... currently an hour & forty-five? Trainline gives it's best at £33 and 1 hour & 55 minutes. Even on a bad day, I can make Southampton to Heathrow in an hour by car and about £15 in fuel. Sounds like a winner to me... not! jackois
  • Score: 5

3:56pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Bagamn says...

All this fuss about Heathrow and Gatwick. Most people down here in the South only go to an airport for their holidays. Just because someone thinks it a great idea for us all to travel by air, Why not sit and relax and not think about rushing bout all over the place. Both my father were Unionists and fought for a forty hour week. Today people are going into their offices at 0730 and leaving at 1900. It is no wonder that the average man is burnt out at the age of forty.
People must learn to relax and not do their work on the train.
All this fuss about Heathrow and Gatwick. Most people down here in the South only go to an airport for their holidays. Just because someone thinks it a great idea for us all to travel by air, Why not sit and relax and not think about rushing bout all over the place. Both my father were Unionists and fought for a forty hour week. Today people are going into their offices at 0730 and leaving at 1900. It is no wonder that the average man is burnt out at the age of forty. People must learn to relax and not do their work on the train. Bagamn
  • Score: 3

4:49pm Mon 10 Feb 14

MisterTom says...

I stick with Hedge End Cabs- guarantee to get you on time.
I stick with Hedge End Cabs- guarantee to get you on time. MisterTom
  • Score: 1

5:28pm Mon 10 Feb 14

The Wickham Man says...

jackois wrote:
An hour and twenty-three minutes to travel 70-odd miles... currently an hour & forty-five?
Trainline gives it's best at £33 and 1 hour & 55 minutes.

Even on a bad day, I can make Southampton to Heathrow in an hour by car and about £15 in fuel.

Sounds like a winner to me... not!
No you can't Jackois, unless you are just dropping someone else off. What you will do at best is get to the M25/M4 in an hour then spend 20 minutes getting to the long stay car park and wait up to 15 minutes for a bus back to the terminal. ENd of the M3 to the Terminal via the M25 and the long stay is at best 1hr 45 and you may pay £50 to keep your car for a week - so it is all relative, but 1 hour and £15? nope.
[quote][p][bold]jackois[/bold] wrote: An hour and twenty-three minutes to travel 70-odd miles... currently an hour & forty-five? Trainline gives it's best at £33 and 1 hour & 55 minutes. Even on a bad day, I can make Southampton to Heathrow in an hour by car and about £15 in fuel. Sounds like a winner to me... not![/p][/quote]No you can't Jackois, unless you are just dropping someone else off. What you will do at best is get to the M25/M4 in an hour then spend 20 minutes getting to the long stay car park and wait up to 15 minutes for a bus back to the terminal. ENd of the M3 to the Terminal via the M25 and the long stay is at best 1hr 45 and you may pay £50 to keep your car for a week - so it is all relative, but 1 hour and £15? nope. The Wickham Man
  • Score: 2

6:48pm Mon 10 Feb 14

george h says...

The Wickham Man wrote:
jackois wrote:
An hour and twenty-three minutes to travel 70-odd miles... currently an hour & forty-five?
Trainline gives it's best at £33 and 1 hour & 55 minutes.

Even on a bad day, I can make Southampton to Heathrow in an hour by car and about £15 in fuel.

Sounds like a winner to me... not!
No you can't Jackois, unless you are just dropping someone else off. What you will do at best is get to the M25/M4 in an hour then spend 20 minutes getting to the long stay car park and wait up to 15 minutes for a bus back to the terminal. ENd of the M3 to the Terminal via the M25 and the long stay is at best 1hr 45 and you may pay £50 to keep your car for a week - so it is all relative, but 1 hour and £15? nope.
So why is it Wicko that I can use a coach from Winchester that is limited to approx 60 mph frequently takes less than one hour from LHR T5, although the timetable says longer?

And the return fare with an OAP discount card is less than £15. And no waiting around in car parks for shuttle buses. It takes almost as long to get from Winchester to Soton only because of the intermediate stops.

It's also worth saying that Nat Ex coaches are a profit-making business that makes money, employs people, pays taxes in the UK contributing to government coffers. And pays a share of road maintenance via VED. Unlike the loss-making railways, subsidized from the taxes of the poorest.
[quote][p][bold]The Wickham Man[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jackois[/bold] wrote: An hour and twenty-three minutes to travel 70-odd miles... currently an hour & forty-five? Trainline gives it's best at £33 and 1 hour & 55 minutes. Even on a bad day, I can make Southampton to Heathrow in an hour by car and about £15 in fuel. Sounds like a winner to me... not![/p][/quote]No you can't Jackois, unless you are just dropping someone else off. What you will do at best is get to the M25/M4 in an hour then spend 20 minutes getting to the long stay car park and wait up to 15 minutes for a bus back to the terminal. ENd of the M3 to the Terminal via the M25 and the long stay is at best 1hr 45 and you may pay £50 to keep your car for a week - so it is all relative, but 1 hour and £15? nope.[/p][/quote]So why is it Wicko that I can use a coach from Winchester that is limited to approx 60 mph frequently takes less than one hour from LHR T5, although the timetable says longer? And the return fare with an OAP discount card is less than £15. And no waiting around in car parks for shuttle buses. It takes almost as long to get from Winchester to Soton only because of the intermediate stops. It's also worth saying that Nat Ex coaches are a profit-making business that makes money, employs people, pays taxes in the UK contributing to government coffers. And pays a share of road maintenance via VED. Unlike the loss-making railways, subsidized from the taxes of the poorest. george h
  • Score: 0

8:43pm Mon 10 Feb 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

If Hurn had a railway station with a direct link to London it would double its business overnight!
If Hurn had a railway station with a direct link to London it would double its business overnight! OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

10:18pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Inform Al says...

george h wrote:
The Wickham Man wrote:
jackois wrote:
An hour and twenty-three minutes to travel 70-odd miles... currently an hour & forty-five?
Trainline gives it's best at £33 and 1 hour & 55 minutes.

Even on a bad day, I can make Southampton to Heathrow in an hour by car and about £15 in fuel.

Sounds like a winner to me... not!
No you can't Jackois, unless you are just dropping someone else off. What you will do at best is get to the M25/M4 in an hour then spend 20 minutes getting to the long stay car park and wait up to 15 minutes for a bus back to the terminal. ENd of the M3 to the Terminal via the M25 and the long stay is at best 1hr 45 and you may pay £50 to keep your car for a week - so it is all relative, but 1 hour and £15? nope.
So why is it Wicko that I can use a coach from Winchester that is limited to approx 60 mph frequently takes less than one hour from LHR T5, although the timetable says longer?

And the return fare with an OAP discount card is less than £15. And no waiting around in car parks for shuttle buses. It takes almost as long to get from Winchester to Soton only because of the intermediate stops.

It's also worth saying that Nat Ex coaches are a profit-making business that makes money, employs people, pays taxes in the UK contributing to government coffers. And pays a share of road maintenance via VED. Unlike the loss-making railways, subsidized from the taxes of the poorest.
Yes I go to Westminster quite frequently and go by coach to Victoria. Takes a little longer than the train, but the cost is much less. I will not pay the train fare, it would probably be cheaper to buy a train for myself.
[quote][p][bold]george h[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Wickham Man[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jackois[/bold] wrote: An hour and twenty-three minutes to travel 70-odd miles... currently an hour & forty-five? Trainline gives it's best at £33 and 1 hour & 55 minutes. Even on a bad day, I can make Southampton to Heathrow in an hour by car and about £15 in fuel. Sounds like a winner to me... not![/p][/quote]No you can't Jackois, unless you are just dropping someone else off. What you will do at best is get to the M25/M4 in an hour then spend 20 minutes getting to the long stay car park and wait up to 15 minutes for a bus back to the terminal. ENd of the M3 to the Terminal via the M25 and the long stay is at best 1hr 45 and you may pay £50 to keep your car for a week - so it is all relative, but 1 hour and £15? nope.[/p][/quote]So why is it Wicko that I can use a coach from Winchester that is limited to approx 60 mph frequently takes less than one hour from LHR T5, although the timetable says longer? And the return fare with an OAP discount card is less than £15. And no waiting around in car parks for shuttle buses. It takes almost as long to get from Winchester to Soton only because of the intermediate stops. It's also worth saying that Nat Ex coaches are a profit-making business that makes money, employs people, pays taxes in the UK contributing to government coffers. And pays a share of road maintenance via VED. Unlike the loss-making railways, subsidized from the taxes of the poorest.[/p][/quote]Yes I go to Westminster quite frequently and go by coach to Victoria. Takes a little longer than the train, but the cost is much less. I will not pay the train fare, it would probably be cheaper to buy a train for myself. Inform Al
  • Score: -1

2:30am Tue 11 Feb 14

Paramjit Bahia says...

Andy Locks Heath wrote:
This is not good news for the south and west and if Jacqui Rayment thinks it is then she is in the wrong job. It is ridiculous that the south west has no direct rail access to Heathrow, yet there are means to provide one that require comparatively little investment - in fact less than the Western lines are proposing. South West Passengers today are expected to get off at Woking and lug their bags to a Railair coach which then takes its place in the M25 logjam to creep towards Heathrow. Is it any wonder hardly anyone uses it? The South western link by contrast would use the existing junction at Byfleet and proceed north along existing lines through Virginia Water to Staines where reinstatement of the western chord - a mere 400 yards - is all that is required to continue via the Bracknell Line to the old Colnebrook line. This runs parallel to the M25 before turning in towards Terminal 5 then turning east through the same tunnel that would carry the Western line proposed in the article. This is just another example of the south of England subsidising transport everywhere else (including Scotland) and getting insufficient investment of its own. The Waterside rail link economics were flawed - and this notion to make southwest passengers travel via Reading is just proof of the bias. How this is supposed to benefit business in the south (rather than the west) is beyond the comprehension of any rational person who has studied the proposal. Colin Matthews must have screwed himself into the ground with such a ludicrously spun piece of nonsense -and only someone of Jacqui Rayment's calibre would have swallowed it.
Andy, YES you have made a very reasonable argument. But it may be too much for unfit for the purpose NuLabour's Cllr. Rayment. As George H has also pointed out, she and many others like her who are making good living out of public life have highly questionable track record prove that do not engage their brains before putting their mouths into top gear.

At the moment most economical and quickest method for going to Heathrow is either by coach or ask a family member or friend for a lift.

Travel times quoted by Echo hacks may only be based on movements of train wheels, not waiting to change trains at Reading or in some cases at both Basingstoke and then at Reading. On top of that depending upon where you live, the travel time to Southampton station.
[quote][p][bold]Andy Locks Heath[/bold] wrote: This is not good news for the south and west and if Jacqui Rayment thinks it is then she is in the wrong job. It is ridiculous that the south west has no direct rail access to Heathrow, yet there are means to provide one that require comparatively little investment - in fact less than the Western lines are proposing. South West Passengers today are expected to get off at Woking and lug their bags to a Railair coach which then takes its place in the M25 logjam to creep towards Heathrow. Is it any wonder hardly anyone uses it? The South western link by contrast would use the existing junction at Byfleet and proceed north along existing lines through Virginia Water to Staines where reinstatement of the western chord - a mere 400 yards - is all that is required to continue via the Bracknell Line to the old Colnebrook line. This runs parallel to the M25 before turning in towards Terminal 5 then turning east through the same tunnel that would carry the Western line proposed in the article. This is just another example of the south of England subsidising transport everywhere else (including Scotland) and getting insufficient investment of its own. The Waterside rail link economics were flawed - and this notion to make southwest passengers travel via Reading is just proof of the bias. How this is supposed to benefit business in the south (rather than the west) is beyond the comprehension of any rational person who has studied the proposal. Colin Matthews must have screwed himself into the ground with such a ludicrously spun piece of nonsense -and only someone of Jacqui Rayment's calibre would have swallowed it.[/p][/quote]Andy, YES you have made a very reasonable argument. But it may be too much for unfit for the purpose NuLabour's Cllr. Rayment. As George H has also pointed out, she and many others like her who are making good living out of public life have highly questionable track record prove that do not engage their brains before putting their mouths into top gear. At the moment most economical and quickest method for going to Heathrow is either by coach or ask a family member or friend for a lift. Travel times quoted by Echo hacks may only be based on movements of train wheels, not waiting to change trains at Reading or in some cases at both Basingstoke and then at Reading. On top of that depending upon where you live, the travel time to Southampton station. Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

2:32am Tue 11 Feb 14

Paramjit Bahia says...

george h wrote:
Andy Locks Heath wrote:
This is not good news for the south and west and if Jacqui Rayment thinks it is then she is in the wrong job. It is ridiculous that the south west has no direct rail access to Heathrow, yet there are means to provide one that require comparatively little investment - in fact less than the Western lines are proposing. South West Passengers today are expected to get off at Woking and lug their bags to a Railair coach which then takes its place in the M25 logjam to creep towards Heathrow. Is it any wonder hardly anyone uses it? The South western link by contrast would use the existing junction at Byfleet and proceed north along existing lines through Virginia Water to Staines where reinstatement of the western chord - a mere 400 yards - is all that is required to continue via the Bracknell Line to the old Colnebrook line. This runs parallel to the M25 before turning in towards Terminal 5 then turning east through the same tunnel that would carry the Western line proposed in the article. This is just another example of the south of England subsidising transport everywhere else (including Scotland) and getting insufficient investment of its own. The Waterside rail link economics were flawed - and this notion to make southwest passengers travel via Reading is just proof of the bias. How this is supposed to benefit business in the south (rather than the west) is beyond the comprehension of any rational person who has studied the proposal. Colin Matthews must have screwed himself into the ground with such a ludicrously spun piece of nonsense -and only someone of Jacqui Rayment's calibre would have swallowed it.
The Fat Controller hasn't got any calibre that's measurable. An utter incompetent in the wrong job.

So nothing new there then Andy. One has only to look at Lordy Chris Smith at the Environment Agency to see another of Yesterday's Guilty Men who was promoted beyond his competence.
Well said George H
[quote][p][bold]george h[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andy Locks Heath[/bold] wrote: This is not good news for the south and west and if Jacqui Rayment thinks it is then she is in the wrong job. It is ridiculous that the south west has no direct rail access to Heathrow, yet there are means to provide one that require comparatively little investment - in fact less than the Western lines are proposing. South West Passengers today are expected to get off at Woking and lug their bags to a Railair coach which then takes its place in the M25 logjam to creep towards Heathrow. Is it any wonder hardly anyone uses it? The South western link by contrast would use the existing junction at Byfleet and proceed north along existing lines through Virginia Water to Staines where reinstatement of the western chord - a mere 400 yards - is all that is required to continue via the Bracknell Line to the old Colnebrook line. This runs parallel to the M25 before turning in towards Terminal 5 then turning east through the same tunnel that would carry the Western line proposed in the article. This is just another example of the south of England subsidising transport everywhere else (including Scotland) and getting insufficient investment of its own. The Waterside rail link economics were flawed - and this notion to make southwest passengers travel via Reading is just proof of the bias. How this is supposed to benefit business in the south (rather than the west) is beyond the comprehension of any rational person who has studied the proposal. Colin Matthews must have screwed himself into the ground with such a ludicrously spun piece of nonsense -and only someone of Jacqui Rayment's calibre would have swallowed it.[/p][/quote]The Fat Controller hasn't got any calibre that's measurable. An utter incompetent in the wrong job. So nothing new there then Andy. One has only to look at Lordy Chris Smith at the Environment Agency to see another of Yesterday's Guilty Men who was promoted beyond his competence.[/p][/quote]Well said George H Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

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