Case builds for Heathrow to Clapham Junction rail service

Published: 19 February 2013

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 www.wandsworth.gov.uk/travelchoices

ENDS