A group opposed to Heathrow’s third runway has unveiled plans for a local rail network which it said will ease road congestion around the airport and could be built at a third of the cost of the proposed Heathrow Hub.
2M Group, an alliance of local authorities concerned at the environmental impact of Heathrow expansion, said the £1.5bn scheme would provide through services from all sides of the airport and connections to 150 stations.
The network would comprise local services linked to existing mainlines and a new London to Scotland high speed line from Euston.
According to BAA, passenger numbers at Heathrow are set to grow by a third by 2030 – regardless of whether the third runway is built. The result will be increased local traffic congestion, said 2M Group.
2M Group spokesman and leader of Wandsworth Council Edward Lister said: “Airtrack and Crossrail by themselves won’t be enough while spending £4.5bn on a high speed hub that provided few local benefits would just drain resources from a genuine high speed link from Euston to the North and Scotland.
“Our scheme takes all the existing and proposed lines around Heathrow and knits them together. It’s a joined-up scheme and a common sense approach that we hope everyone concerned about the environmental impact of the airport would support.”
The initiative comes in a week when the government’s majority was slashed to 19 on a vote demanding a rethink on the expansion. Two ministerial aides have also resigned over the issue.
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