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Heathrow set to link the whole of the UK to growth

May 5, 2014 Airport No Comments Email Email
Heathrow is to step up its campaign for expansion by telling the Airports Commission that it is the only option that can connect every part of the UK to the world’s long-haul growth markets.

Heathrow’s hub airport status allows it to connect to long-haul business destinations that are critical for economic growth and are not viable from other airports, giving it a unique advantage over other options for airport expansion.

In its submission to the Airports Commission later this month, Heathrow will set out how new rail and air links will deliver benefits to passengers and business across the whole country, not just to London and the South East.

New rail connections will mean that more than 70% of the UK’s population will be within three hours of Heathrow by public transport. A new fast connection to High Speed 2 at Old Oak Common means journey times between Heathrow and Birmingham will be cut by 1 hour 38 minutes, journey times to Leeds will reduce by 2 hours 08 minutes, and journey times from Manchester will reduce by 1 hour 53 minutes. New direct access to the Great Western Line will cut journey times from Cardiff by 37 minutes. Passengers will no longer face the inconvenience of having to travel to Heathrow via central London or negotiating the London Underground network with luggage.

Since the previous plan for a third runway was rejected, Heathrow has been meeting with business groups across the UK to listen to their views on aviation. The resounding demand is for better regional connectivity to the UK’s hub airport so that companies across all regions are in better reach of global markets. Expanding Heathrow will create capacity for a number of new air routes to destinations in the UK that are currently served by competing hub airports in Europe. For example, Exeter, Liverpool, Newquay, Jersey, Inverness, Isle of Man and Humberside airports could be added to the existing links to Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds/Bradford, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast and Aberdeen.

The Liverpool School of English is an example of a business that would benefit from Heathrow’s expansion. The company provides English language provision to 3,300 students a year from 70 different nationalities. Based in Liverpool city centre, the School has gone from strength to strength on the back of increasing demand for English, particularly from the BRIC countries. The School recognises the need for a strong hub airport in order to connect to the emerging markets of the future. In particular, new routes will be required to their growth areas in the BRIC countries who all continue to expand their aviation capacity while Heathrow remains constrained. High Speed 2 will mean a 1 hour 48 minute rail journey from Liverpool to Heathrow compared to 3 hours and 29 minutes today and, with a third runway adding new routes to the fastest growing economies, not only would they be closer to their existing client base, they would be in reach of a whole new group of students in demand of their expertise.

Heathrow Chief Executive Colin Matthews said:

“If we want growth for the future we need connections to the world’s fast growing markets and that means a hub airport like Heathrow. But we also need to bring the benefits of additional trade, tourism and economic growth to the whole country, not just to London and the South-East. That is why we are setting out our ambition to connect Heathrow to every economic centre in Britain.

“New air and rail links including HS2, Western Rail, Southern Rail and Crossrail will transform journey times from Heathrow compared to today. Millions more people will have quick access to the UK’s global hub and be within easy reach of the world’s markets.”

Anna Goodband, Principal, Liverpool School of English said:

“The School relies on Heathrow to attract students from across the world with new routes to China and the Far East vital for our future expansion.”

Jenny Stewart, Chief Executive of Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce said:

“An expanded Heathrow with improved rail links would bring huge benefits to Liverpool, offering speedier journey times to the airport and driving trade, jobs and growth through improved access to overseas’ markets”

Heathrow is already the UK’s best connected transport hub. It has the only dedicated non-stop airport express link. It has the UK’s busiest bus and coach station. It is the only airport with a London underground connection. It is the best connected airport to the strategic road network with the M25, M4, M40, M3 & M1 motorways all within close proximity. It is in a better geographical location for most UK passengers and companies than other options for airport expansion.

By the time a third runway opens, the major public transport improvements that will have been delivered include Crossrail, an upgrade to the Piccadilly Line, Western Rail Access, High Speed 2 and Southern Rail Access. Heathrow’s public transport mode share is expected to increase from 40% to more than 50%.

Rail travel times to key UK cities now and with new rail links:

Station

2013

With new rail links

Difference

Journey time

Changes

Journey Time

Changes

Journey time

Changes

Birmingham

2h 31m

2

53m

1

-1h 38m

-1

Leeds

3h 46m

2

1h 38m

1

-2h 08m

-1

Manchester

3h 16m

2

1h 23m

1

-1h 53m

-1

Liverpool

3h 29m

2

1h 48m

1

-1h 41m

-1

Sheffield

3h 32m

2

1h 25m

1

-2h 07m

-1

Bristol

2h 05m

1

1h 40m

1

-25m

0

Cardiff

2h 35m

1

1h 58m

1

-37m

0

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