Heathrow airport have committed to a plan to create a new rail link that would take passengers from Reading directly to Heathrow by rail, a route currently only covered by coach. This will open up Heathrow Airport to passengers from South Wales, something that Mr Hain has been pushing for over a number of years. Heathrow’s status as a hub airport means that access to key business routes will become easier.
Reliable and efficient rail services to Heathrow are the key to reducing air pollution along the M4, M3 and M25 by reducing airport bound traffic. Rail accounts for 40% of passengers travelling to the airport but that should increase to 50% and eventually to 55%. The new link will go ahead regardless of plans for the third runway and it will be delivered by 2021 in partnership with Network Rail.
The new link will most likely tunnel under the M25 with minimal disruption to residents. Running four trains an hour between Reading and Heathrow via Paddington, it will improve journey times by up to 60 minutes.