Runway opponents unveil Heathrow ‘rail hub’

26.1.2009   (Evening Standard)

by Katharine Barney

The coalition of councils opposing the third runway will this week launch plans
for a new rail network around Heathrow.

The group, known as the 2M Group, claim 40 trains an hour could pass through
the airport.

Their blueprint, Getting to Heathrow, to be launched on Thursday, shows that the airport could become a rail hub
serving large areas of London and the South-East.   The new local network would
provide links to mainline services and a London-to-Scotland high-speed rail line
from Euston.     It would offer connections to 150 stations within a 25-mile radius of the airport.
Representatives say it would take a million cars off the road every year.

Wandsworth council leader Edward Lister, speaking on behalf of 2M, said: "Government
plans include a £4.5 billion high-speed hub.   This is nothing more than a high-speed
hoax as just about all the costs will be swallowed by a 15-mile tunnel to St Pancras
and unnecessary tunnelling under Heathrow.

"Our scheme is practical and offers much better value for money. The Government
says Crossrail and Airtrack will be enough to cope with Heathrow expansion.   Whether
the airport grows or not the best way to tackle congestion is to make it the centre
of a new network that links all existing and proposed lines."

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