Heathrow rail link will stop at Clapham Junction

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Author: Cyril Richert
Heathrow Aiport have asked the government for permission to develop a new rail link from Terminal 5 to Waterloo (estimated cost £350-400m). Services would operate to Reading, Guildford and London Waterloo and would be in addition to those already operating on these lines. At the same time, some Heathrow Express services would be extended through Heathrow Terminal 5 to Staines.
Two services an hour will link Waterloo to Heathrow with 10-carriage trains stopping at Clapham Junction (and Richmond,
Twickenham, Feltham and Staines). Given the importance of this service large numbers of people will want to change at CJ to use this service – including people transferring from Heathrow to Gatwick.

Airtrack scheme

BAA held two stages of consultation on the proposals (from February to
April 2008 and the second stage from October to December 2008) for people in the surrounding of Staines town centre where most of the work will take place. Result and comments can be read here.
A series of public exhibitions were held in Staines, Stanwell Moor, Feltham, Egham, Richmond and Wokingham. We regret that none was organised in Clapham Junction (nor did I see any news included in the latest edition of Brightside distributed last week actually).
Time line:

  1. 24 July 2009: Draft Transport and Works Act Order application submitted
  2. 18 September 2009: Closing date for submissions of objections [*]
  3. Early 2010: Potential Public Inquiry
  4. Late 2010: TWA powers granted
  5. Early 2011: Possible start of works
  6. Late 2014: Heathrow Airtrack services operating

After the announcement of the go ahead for the East London Line to CJ, this is yet more evidence of the increasing necessity to improve the station with an appropriate development plan!
[*] Letters of support, representations and objections to the application must be lodged within 56 days to the Secretary of State for Transport c/o Transport and Works Act Orders Unit, Department for Transport, 9/09 Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6DT or email transportandworksact@dft.gsi.gov.uk. All correspondence should clearly state your name and postal address.

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CJAG News editor and Clapham Junction Action Group co-founder and coordinator since 2008, Cyril has lived in Clapham Junction since 2001.
He is also funder and CEO of Habilis-Digital Ltd, a digital agency creating and managing websites and Internet solutions.

5 Comments

  1. I heartily support the proposal for a rail link going south of Heathrow – to Clapham Junction and Waterloo among others.

  2. I second Charles’ comment, yes please for the rail link to Heathrow from Clapham Junction.

  3. I would definitely support a rail link to/from Heathrow & Clapham Junction BUT only AFTER substantial redevelopment to Clapham Junction including escalators, wider corridors and better signage. People trying to navigate CJ with a suitcase (let alone small children) are quite often intimidated/pushed/shoved out of the way by rushing commuters and impatient Londoners. Yes, some kind people do offer to help, but as someone who gets a lot of not-so-young visitors, once they’ve experienced CJ with a heavy bag, tired after a long-haul flight, they never want to do it again! I don’t blame them. I don’t think we should put ourselves in the position of waiting for a link to improve the station. It needs massive improvement now!

  4. Any public transport improvements providing alternatives to the nightmare that constitutes luggage laden travel by bus and underground from Battersea to Heathrow are to be applauded. As Cyril Richert emphasises, Clapham Junction’s significance as a transport hub, although unparalleled even now in the UK, in its rail usage, is destined to extend exponentially with the planned link to the East London Line, and the proposed Heathrow/Gatwick connection. The wretchedly limited vision that Wandsworth Council has so far brought to bear on this vital issue for all Londoners is what so successfully rallied the major public response against their tower block plan. The current conditions at CJ continue to be deeply shaming, in breach of accessibility and health and safety provision, and any sense of civilised values. It has been made all too clear that, in this matter, our support of the CJAG will be vital in safeguarding any hope for an appropriate standard of improvement and development.

  5. I heartily agree with previous comments welcoming a direct link from Clapham Junction to Heathrow, which would be extremely useful and avoid a nightmare tube/train journey (or expensive cabs!).
    I wonder what is going to happen at Cl. J. now that the redevelopment “package” has been rejected? Hopefully the station improvements will still materialise, in some form or other.
    I see that work is proceeding on lifts from the platforms to the upper walkway. I hope this means that the upper entrance will eventually re-open – sooner rather than later, given the overcrowding in the subway! (Actually, we do need BOTH entrances open, as it always used to be – the development plans had proposed using the subway purely for platform interchange, but in my opinon, based on 50 years’ experience of using the station, we do need both top and bottom entrances in use, as I believe most of the overcrowding results from commuters entering and leaving the station, rather than those changing platforms.) Rather than going for the original complicated and expensive redevelopment plans, It would presumably be quite possible simply to re-open an additional ticket office at the higher St. John’s Hill level? I imagine this could be done relatively quickly, and would contribute greatly to reducing the chaos in the tunnel.
    Although station improvements are essential, I wouldn’t want the new Heathrow connection to be directly related to them, or held up because they were not completed!

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