Spelthorne Borough Council is actively promoting the SLR which is a new light rail transport link from Staines-upon-Thames to Heathrow to provide joined up journeys into the airport from the south.
The SLR is anticipated to offer seamless and frequent connectivity from the heart of the Borough to the airport and will enable local residents to access the airport more easily. Also, the proposed scheme is expected to distribute the economic benefits of the expanded airport more widely in the local area. The trains will run every six minutes and take just seven minutes to reach the airport. The route would mostly run alongside the M25, using 'brownfield land'. A 7 minute journey time from Heathrow opens up Staines-upon-Thames as a location for a number of offices and hotels. The proposed scheme would also reduce congestion on the road and rail networks and has an additional benefit of rejuvenating the main town centre in Staines-upon-Thames, giving a huge economic boost to the whole Borough.
Southern Light Rail (SLR) can be delivered within 54 months, and all things being equal, it will be operational before the third runway. Again, the SLR proposal will ensure that Heathrow can meet the change in modal share identified by the Airports Commission. The proposed scheme is awaiting Department for Transport's endorsement by the second quarter of 2019 so that the SLR Consortium can unlock the investor funding (sovereign wealth funds, private equity investors and property developers) to finance it.
The findings of the market sounding exploring options to create a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow through private sector involvement were released in December 2018.