Case builds for Heathrow to Clapham Junction rail service

Published: Tuesday 19th February 13

Wandsworth Council is set to appoint a transport consultancy to develop the case for a direct rail service from Clapham Junction to Heathrow.

The aim is to create a 30-minute journey to the airport for borough residents and businesses.

Heathrow is poorly served by public transport and south Londoners have to travel north into London to catch a connecting train from Paddington or a Piccadilly Line service.

The council has consistently argued for improved surface access as essential for the efficient running of a two-runway airport.

The last Heathrow rail scheme, named Airtrack, was spearheaded by the British Airports Authority (BAA) but abandoned in 2011.

Since then the Council has been leading work in south west London looking at alternative options for improving access to the airport from this part of the capital.

Early discussion show there is still widespread support for improved rail access and a number of different route options have been put forward.

If approved by the council's executive, Wandsworth will appoint a transport consultancy to access the feasibility of each potential route.

Following this a formal stakeholder group would be established to take the project forward.

Leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia said:

"Our success in bringing the Northern Line to Battersea shows just how much a council can achieve when it takes the initiative on transport improvements.

"We believe there is strong demand for direct services from south London 's biggest transport hub to Heathrow and are starting to move the project forward.

"Our ultimate aim is to put Heathrow within 30mins reach for local people."

The full report on the scheme is available on Wandsworth Council's website.

The proposal will be considered by the strategic planning and transportation

overview and scrutiny committee on February 20. The council's executive group will make a final decision on February 25.

Wandsworth Council is pressing for a series of transport improvements as part of its Travel Choices campaign. They include:

  • Crossrail 2 - councillors are calling for this potential Tube line to include stops at Clapham Junction and Tooting.
  • Cycle hire expansion - the council has agreed a plan with the Mayor of London which would see the existing Barclays Cycle Hire zone extended across parts of Battersea, Wandsworth Town and Putney later this year.
  • Bus upgrades - older, heavily polluting diesels buses are now being replaced with cleaner models following pressure from the council and local residents.
  • Enhanced riverbus service - a new boat operator is being sought for the Putney riverbus service which could see the timetable improved and reduce journey times to central London .
  • Northern line extension - this project could bring the Tube to Battersea by 2018 with new stations at Wandsworth Road and Battersea Power Station.
  • Balham to Gatwick direct - the council is calling for some Gatwick bound trains to stop en route at Balham.
  • Northern line extension phase 2 - councillors believe this underground extension could continue past Battersea Power Station to reach Clapham Junction Station.
  • Wandsworth One Way System - the council is working with TfL to secure a redesign of the Wandsworth Gyratory which would remove heavy through traffic from the high street. This would be funded by local development.

For more information on the council's Travel Choices campaign visit


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Recent comments

This is the best idea for years , it's such a nightmare getting from our borough to the capital airport . Our population and business requirements are such now that surely it's a no brainier . If Mr Osbourne stopped being negative about Crossrail 2 that would link up to this line , making Tooting/Battersea the perfect hub on transport , not just for us but for Surrey etc . This gets my vote x50 times

29 May 2013

Simon's right. The council needs to drop it's hysterical opposition to expansion at Heathrow. Planes are gradually becoming cleaner and quieter. 20 years from now people will wonder what all the fuss was about. If these NIMBYS had got their way 150 years ago the railways would never have been built.
Eric Freeman

28 February 2013

Direct rail link to Heathrow is a good idea. I also think we need to be a bit more relaxed about expansion there. We need more active travel options though. Cycle hire is great, but without safe cycle paths/lanes and with poor street design that puts cyclists into conflict with everyone else this is not sensible. Wandsworth has ZERO major schemes to improve cycle lanes. Putting just 5% of the road budget into proper cycle lanes could achieve so much. I also think that until they do, children and vulnerable adults should be allowed to cycle (responsibly) on footpaths like in many US states. Wandsworth is a nightmare to cycle around! Too much space given to cars-I drive too and our 2-3 lane urban roads need to give up a lane to bikes.

22 February 2013

A proposed link from Clapham junction to Heathrow would be a tremendous project. The demographics of the Borough is changing enormously, especially with the arrival of the US Embassy and it's personnel. The number of residents, and people working in the Borough using Heathrow is therefore increasing substantially and this link will be of great help in reducing journey times.
David Forcey

21 February 2013

Good news! It's about time some weight got behind this as it's been a long time coming. Now the council just needs to drop its opposition to Heathrow expansion so we can get the economy moving again!

21 February 2013

Please can you campaign for a 3rd & 4th runway to ease the capacity problems at Heathrow. It would be a great infrastucture project to boost the economy.

21 February 2013

YES PLEASE!! - Well overdue. Getting to Heathrow is an expensive pain at present. I always try to fly from Gatwick if possible because of the direct rail link, but we definitely need a proper direct link to Heathrow too.
Judith Howard

20 February 2013

I thought the council expected us all to travel to LHR on Boris Bikes?

20 February 2013

Lots of joined up thinking going on in Wandsworth Council then! One minute they're trying to close Heathrow the next they're campaigning for a direct rail link!

19 February 2013