Western Rail Link to London Heathrow (WRLtH) is a proposed 6.5km rail link between the Great Western Main Line and London Heathrow Airport, leaving the Main Line between Langley and Iver. The recommended route can be found here.
WRLtH will: Deliver high ROI and major benefits to UK plc in added GVA, new jobs and CO2 reductions; Bring Heathrow closer to nearly 14 million people in the South West, Wales, South Midlands and Thames Valley; Increase attractiveness of these regions to existing business, potential investors, overseas tourists, international research and students; Improve freight access and Reduce road congestion and pollution.
TVCC supports this project because it will deliver wider Government objectives for levelling up regional inequality, greening the economy and net-zero targets, stimulate the recovery of industry sectors hardest hit by COVID-19 and help with the recovery of the aviation industry and its supply chains.
In December 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) notified the Chamber of a one-year delay to the Development Consent Order (DCO) process for WRLtH.
Minister of State, Mr Heaton Harris MP, stated in his letter (07/12/20) that the “impact of the Covid-19 pandemic to Heathrow and the wider aviation industry has, in turn affected Heathrow Airport’s ability to commit to a financial contribution to the scheme at this time. In the absence of such a commitment and in the context of the very significant financial support that government continues to make to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic to the economy, we are not able to progress with Network Rail’s application for DCO for WRLtH as previously planned”. This delay will result in the planned submission of the DCO application moving from 2021 to Winter 2022. The Minister reiterates that the government remain committed to the WRLtH scheme, and investing in transport infrastructure, and will continue to work together with partners until such time progress towards submitting the DCO can be resumed.
The Chamber responded to the Minster’s letter (10/12/20) expressing our disappointment and our continued call for government to ensure this project is at the front of its transport infrastructure spending plans.
What is WRLtH and What Are the Benefits?
Summary Position Statement
Project Milestones and Timetable
If you’d like to submit a statement of support on behalf of your organisation, please use our Framework Statement for guidance.