Cost of Heathrow rail links upgrade ‘underestimated by £16bn’

Cost of Heathrow rail links upgrade ‘underestimated by £16bn’

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The cost of upgrades to Heathrow’s road and railway links has been underestimated by more than £16 billion if a third runway is approved, Transport for London (TfL) claims.

TfL said that its estimates to redevelop the transport system in west London were about eight times more than the airport’s £2.2 billion forecast.

It had released a figure of £18.4 billion for such upgrades but a breakdown was obtained by Greenpeace through a freedom of information request.

John Sauven, from Greenpeace, said that the figure showed a gaping hole in Heathrow’s figures.

The estimate will come under scrutiny in a few weeks when the government is expected to make a final decision over where to approve a new runway in the southeast of England.

TfL claimed that there had been a substantial underestimate of the increase in congestion on local buses, trains and roads.

TfL is under the remit of London mayor Boris Johnson, who has campaigned for an alternative airport in the Thames Estuary.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye told the Times that TfL’s estimate was a “long list of anything that might be needed across London”.


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