Justin Tomlinson MP Calls For New Western Rail Link From Swindon As Part Of Major Heathrow Expansion

Justin Tomlinson MP has called for Ministers to prioritise a new Western Rail Link to Heathrow as he backed the Government’s plan to deliver a vital third runway at the airport.

After detailed consultation the Government has published the Airports National Policy Statement, the legal document which sets out plans to deliver an essential increase in airport capacity, create almost one hundred thousand jobs & 5,000 new apprenticeships, and boost the country’s economy for future generations through the construction of a new north-west runway at Heathrow.

Expansion at Heathrow will bring real benefits to the country. Delivering the third runway at Heathrow could grow the economy by up to £74 billion, provide better connections to growing world markets, and increase flights to more long haul destinations.

Alongside confirmation that the Government is backing the expansion of Heathrow, Ministers have also set out plans to improve access to the airport via public transport.

Justin has actively campaigned for a new Western Rail Link to improve connections between Swindon & Heathrow for local residents & businesses.

A Western Rail Link would mean that residents from Swindon travelling to Heathrow would no longer have to go into central London & come back out again if they want to reach the airport by train. It would also ensure that when businesses look to expand operations in the United Kingdom, they look west to Swindon.

The new rail link alone would contribute around £800 million to the economy, create 42,000 new jobs in the region, and mean residents in Swindon could reach Terminal 5 by rail in under an hour.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling signalled the Government’s support for the new rail link, confirming his department has made funding available to Network Rail to deliver a rail link in its next Control Period (before 2026).

Network Rail is currently publicly consulting on its plans for a Western Rail Link to Heathrow, which will enable quicker, easier journeys to Heathrow from the West of England and Wales via Swindon & Reading by 2026. Residents can read more about the plans, and respond to the consultation, via https://cdn.networkrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Western-rail-link-to-heathrow.pdf

Justin Tomlinson MP said: “I am delighted that the Government is delivering vital new infrastructure which will benefit both Swindon & the country. A third runway at Heathrow will deliver new jobs, stronger growth & increased capacity, while a Western Rail Link to the airport will mean that residents can make quicker connections for holidays and businesses are able to look west to Swindon when delivering new investment. Both the new third runway and the Western Rail Link are vital for Swindon and vital for the country”.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP said: “Alongside the third runway, the Western Rail Link is important for connections to places link Swindon, Bristol, the South West & South Wales. It is in our investment plans for the next Control Period on the railways and it is my expectation that the link will be open in good time alongside the runway”.