Heathrow steps up

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 say its 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 says it 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 should 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 should 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 say they have 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. Heathrow say 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, which provides English language teaching to 3,300 non-native English speakers a year is based in Liverpool city centre. They see rapidly increasing demand, 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.

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 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.”

Heathrow point to their well-connected status – with a non-stop airport express link, and the UK’s busiest bus and coach station, together with a London underground connection and proximity to the Motorway network. . 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.

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