Spelthorne Borough Council is continuing to back the Southern Light Railway as the best solution to improve rail access to Heathrow from the south and west.
The Council is one of a number of parties calling for a light rail link to Heathrow from Staines-upon-Thames with a proposal setting out the details of the scheme made to the Department for Transport (Daft). Their subsequent report outlines the need to provide more direction to the market on requirements which will apply to both heavy and light rail, so they are keeping an open mind at this stage.
Light railway has many benefits over traditional heavy railway, both in general and specifically for Spelthorne. It will improve access to the airport for Spelthorne residents, bring economic benefits to Staines Town Centre, and can be delivered with minimal impacts on Staines Moor.
Cllr John Boughtflower, Spelthorne's Cabinet Lead on Heathrow expansion, said: "It is very positive that the Government seems to be recognising the potential of light rail in terms of providing quick, cost-effective and sustainable infrastructure. We will certainly be responding to the Government's call for further evidence and will also be taking the opportunity to promote our scheme with DfT direct".
Cllr Ian Harvey, Leader of Spelthorne Borough Council, said: "We want a fully privately funded light rail link into Heathrow delivered before the third runway is operational and will continue to push hard for a clear and quick timetable for this to happen. Not only do we want it, we can help deliver it, at no cost to the Treasury".
The Council is part of the Heathrow Innovation Partners process and hope to hear in the next few weeks if we are going to progress to the third stage, which involves developing business cases.
Issued: February 2019