A Slough MP is calling for a direct rail link between the west of England and Heathrow.
Fiona Mactaggart believes a new route could cut journey times dramatically, reducing a trip from Reading to Terminal 5 by 18 minutes and creating a nine-minute train from Slough to Heathrow.
Currently there is no direct rail link from Reading or Slough to Heathrow. Passengers to Heathrow from Reading, the west and Wales need to either change at Reading onto a RailAir coach link or continue past Heathrow into London.
MP Mactaggart suggested that two platforms at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, which already exist, could be used for a connection to the Great Western Mainline.
Fiona Mactaggart said: “Rail access from the west to Heathrow is crucial to the prosperity of Slough, and will expand the places in easy reach of Heathrow by public transport, bringing the prosperity that Heathrow generates to a wider circle of beneficiaries. It will reduce traffic on the M4 and cut business costs – a study a few years ago calculated that businesses in the Thames Valley spend £10 million a year on taxis to Heathrow.
“Our country needs growth and this practical improvement to our infrastructure, which expands the reach of Britain’s only hub airport, will boost growth.”
Mark Hopwood, First Great Western managing director, said: “It will only take around four to five miles of new railway across land which is currently not really used for anything. We think getting a link into Heathrow would not be as difficult as other railway projects being thought about.
“This is not going to happen overnight, but when I speak to the business communities of Slough, Reading, Swindon, Bristol and South Wales, they all seem very enthusiastic.