Seema Malhotra, the Member of Parliament for Feltham and Heston, has welcomed the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s support for a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow.
Malhotra has long advocated for a new southern link to Heathrow which would serve Hounslow residents and boost local regeneration, first raising the issue in Parliament in 2016.
The proposed line would connect Heathrow Airport with south west London and southern counties.
Responding to a question in the London Assembly, Khan said:
“I welcome the useful role that a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow could play in supporting a shift to sustainable modes, while transforming access to Heathrow Airport for passengers and staff from South London, Surrey and Hampshire.”
“The Greater London Authority and Transport for London maintain regular dialogue with a broad range of interested stakeholders as we look to resolve the issues which have obstructed progress to date, while ensuring that any scheme meets the needs of Londoners and does not impact the reliable operation of the railway network.”
The proposal is currently being developed and financed by the private company Heathrow Southern Railway, but the independent Heathrow Area Transport Forum has stated that they are “increasingly frustrated with the seemingly slow progress over the last decade that has been made even identifying a preferred scheme.”
A Southern Rail Link connecting the south and southwest with Heathrow Airport via Feltham, with a station in Bedfont, was backed by Hounslow Council in 2015. In 2017, this route was assessed by Network Rail as having the highest benefit-cost ratio of all proposals.
Seema Malhotra said: “We urgently need progress on this project which will transform access to Heathrow by rail from the south and should link Hounslow to Waterloo.
“The Government must stop dragging its feet and bring together major stakeholders to break ground on a proposal which could underpin regeneration schemes for the most deprived areas in the west of Hounslow and revolutionise connectivity across our area.”