Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said that there will be no connection between Heathrow and HS2 by a spur in phase one or two of the massive rail project.
The Minister announced the decision, which had been expected after the Davies Commission reported on aviation expansion in the South East, in a written response to a question by Beaconsfield MP Dominic Grieve.
This means that the only connection for Heathrow to HS2 will be at Old Oak, where Crossrail meets the high speed rail line. Passengers wishing to access the Airport from the north would therefore have a longer journey.
Mcloughlin said in his written answer that the Davies Commission had indicated that an HS2 spur was “unlikely to be necessary to support any expansion of Heathrow airport.”
Hillingdon Council were pleased by the announcement. The Leader of Hillingdon Council, Cllr Ray Puddifoot, said: “We welcome the statement of intent from the Government that there is no appetite to pursue a High Speed rail connection to Heathrow. We hope this is a good indicator that a third runway at Heathrow will not happen. Furthermore, this just illustrates the concerns that there has never been a business case for the Heathrow spurs and that the case for HS2 has been eroded to the point of complete instability.”
He then went further, saying that Hillingdon Council would look to have the the junctions needed for any future connection to Heathrow removed from the Hybrid Bill provisions as well.
Heathrow is one of a very few major european airports without a direct connection to the countries mainline rail network. It is an accident of history that is expensive to put right, but it would undoubtedly benefit UK businesses if it could be, as well as increasing the numbers that access the Airport by public transport, reducing the burden on the local road network.