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Heathwick? New High Speed Rail Line Proposed to Connect Heathrow and Gatwick Airports

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The big news over the weekend was a new proposal being investigated by the British government that would seek to develop a high speed rail line between Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport – thus turning the two airports into a ‘virtual hub.’

The idea is rather daft and would most certainly be a huge waste of money.

The fact of the matter is that the south of England needs more runways – whether it’s a new airport or additional runways at the existing airports. Heathrow is at capacity and Gatwick is not far behind. Both need additional runways but getting one built at either faces a minefield of local opposition and environmental opposition.

Meanwhile travelers will avoid Britain if their airports suck while the politicians and special interest groups squabble.

Here’s an excellent video from Channel 4 News where they talk about the plan.

What do you think of this plan? Daft?

Author: jonathan

Jonathan is a consummate Anglophile who launched Anglotopia.net in 2007 to channel his passion for Britain. Londontopia is its sister publication dedicated to everything London.

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  1. Soley is right. “Heathwick” as a “virtual hub” is no hub at all. Stitching together two remote airports each at the very brink of or already beyond capacity does not not make a bold solution, or even a viable interim solution.

    All else aside, Heathrow to remain viable needs to expand its runways and capacity; the alternative is the politically unsettling argument for an altogether new airport, large enough to accommodate existing, near term, and long term needs.

  2. I don’t agree with London Mayor Boris Johnson on much, I’m sure we’d even argue about what the date is, but I do think he’s onto something with his plan for a new London airport on an artificial island in the Thames Estuary.

    Both Heathrow and Gatwick need extensive enlargement and soon. That just isn’t going to happen within the bounds of our planning and public enquiry constraints. A new island airport would offer a few things, not least of which less local opposition that will always be present when trying to develop inland existing or new sites. The development would offer:

    – Employment during construction and operation
    – the opportunity for 24 hr operation without the associated noise abatement issues as planes land
    and take off over the open sea
    – the associated increase in capacity required to keep London as the premier international air hub
    – the opportunity to encourage a greener way of travelling to the airport – a rail link between the island
    and London would take people off the roads and also provide a new rail service that could link into

    We just need to get started on something, preferably this, and soon, or else it really will be too late.

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