Western Rail Link to London Heathrow (WRLtH) is a proposed 6.5km rail link (largely via a tunnel) between the Great Western Main Line and London Heathrow Airport, leaving the Main Line east of Langley. 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 further one-year delay to the Development Consent Order (DCO) process for WRLtH. This delay is to enable further negotiations with Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) for a significant contribution to project costs. If agreement is achieved in late 2021 that will result in the planned submission of the DCO application moving to Winter 2022, resulting in a predicted in-service date of 2030/31.
The Chamber responded to the Minister’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.
TVCC is working with partners across the benefitting regions to demonstrate the urgent need for a firm commitment to WRLtH and the considerable risks of delay in terms of loss of the annual economic, environmental and social benefits, increased costs and lost inward investment and business retention.
You can help by raising awareness of the benefits of WRLtH to business colleagues, local politicians and Members of Parliament. See our latest Elevator Pitch.
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.