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Providing a business solution to secure

delivery of the scheme 

Parliament Adjournment Debate, April 2024

Tan Dhesi, MP for Slough invited Government to “stop obfuscating, and provide the people of my Slough constituency, the wider Thames Valley region and beyond with a clear timeline for when we can expect the project to be finally set in action?”

The Rt Hon Sir Robert Buckland KBE KC MP also commented “I congratulate the hon. Member on securing the debate. We fully support his efforts and the work of the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce. He is to be commended for his work on this issue and has my full support.”

It was great to hear the “strong Party consensus and ‘all as one’ to get this project delivered”.

TVCC has commenced a refresh of the economic case for this project, after many years of developing the case, which arose from feedback from the Thames Valley business community and rapidly gathered support across multiple regions.

Development of the case and the case today

Read the Chambers presentation about WRLtH – from the development of the case, to the case today.

For more information about the Chambers WRLtH Working Group, please contact Jess Harrison.

“For the good people of Slough, the Thames Valley region and our country as a whole, the Western Rail Link to Heathrow would make travel to and from the busiest airport in the UK greatly more convenient, cutting traffic and congestion and stimulating our local economy

…It would also ensure that 20% of our country’s population will be within one interchange of its busiest port; Heathrow.”

Tan Dhesi, MP for Slough

“Heathrow supports Western Rail Link to Heathrow as a transformative rail project to deliver connectivity to millions of people in Wales, the West and South West of England. Instead of having to go into central London and back out again, Western Rail would provide a quicker, easier and more direct route to the UK’s hub airport.  

With four trains per hour to and from the Great Western Main Line, and journey times by rail cut by half an hour, thousands of jobs can be created and there would finally be a simple, public transport option for passengers coming from the west of Heathrow.  

Delivering more sustainable travel options is essential to decarbonising transport in the UK, and Western Rail Link to Heathrow would provide the opportunity for a modal shift towards public transport which Heathrow and the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce will continue to champion.”

Nigel Milton, Chief of Staff, Heathrow Airport Ltd.

“The importance of having a direct western rail link from Dorset to Heathrow cannot be overstated.  Upon completion, it will provide a much-needed alternative to road-based journeys taking traffic off an already congestion road network and reducing carbon emissions. 

The key benefit for Dorset residents, taking the train from stations such as Poole and Bournemouth, is that it will significantly reduce journey times, bringing much of the region within one interchange to Heathrow

Ian Girling, Chief Executive, Dorset Chamber

“The benefits of increasing services to the UK’s and Europe’s busiest airport are obvious for multiple destinations and customers across the GWR network – not least helping to shift journeys from private cars onto public transport.

With journey times to the airport from west of Reading reducing by a minimum of 30 minutes, the promise of 4 trains per hour between Reading and Heathrow and vastly improved connections from across the GWR network – Carmarthenshire to Cornwall – as well as bringing destinations like Oxford, Swindon and Didcot within the ‘golden hour’ for Foreign Direct Investors, the economic and environmental case is clear.

In addition, world-leading leisure destinations – such as Bath Spa, Devon & Cornwall, West Wales – become more attractive and accessible direct from Heathrow opening up the GWR network and destinations to a whole new customer.”

Mark Hopwood, Managing Director, Great Western Railway (GWR)

“Transport routes between Wales and England have existed for Millenia and are intrinsic to our population and economies in Mid and South Wales, the Southwest of England and along the M4 corridor to London taking thousands each week in both directions. The South Wales economic infrastructure has been built around the connectivity of the rail and road network supporting our ports, our freight and logistics businesses, as well as our visitor economy along this route.

A new Western Rail Link from South Wales to London Heathrow would deliver a higher frequency of direct trains but would also support the New Zero ambitions and carbon reduction targets whilst supporting economic connectivity.

Chambers Wales are delighted to support the Western Rail Link.”

Paul Butterworth, Chief Executive, Chambers Wales

“WRLtH is not just a great scheme for the south-east issue; it affects Swindon and the western gateway, bringing great potential benefits to these areas, the southwest and Wales. I fully support the timely delivery of the scheme and the work of the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce”.

The Rt Hon Sir Robert Buckland KBE KC, MP for South Swindon

“A direct rail link connecting the West to Heathrow would have significant benefits for Bath and beyond. Not only would it improve connectivity and economic growth, but it also has important environmental benefits as it will allow more people to travel by rail rather than by car. It is absurd that so many people in the South West must travel into London first before getting to the airport. Hence, this impressive rail link would be instrumental in achieving our ambitious targets to decarbonise our transport system.”

Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath

“Air pollution and traffic jams are issues in parts of the Windsor constituency, and Western Rail access to Heathrow would go a long way to solving these problems”.

Adam Afriyie,  MP for Windsor 

“The importance of fast connectivity to major international hubs, including Heathrow airport,  cannot be overstated.  This is even more critical in the Southwest where poor transport connectivity has affected productivity. We fully support the Western Rail Link to Heathrow.

Stuart Elford, Chief Executive, Devon and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce

What is the Western Rail Link to Heathrow and what are the benefits?

We sat down with the Chambers’ WRLtH Working Group Chair, Ruth Bagley, to ask her to answer some frequently asked questions about this important infrastructure project.

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