The HATF Board have recently been considering how best to continue to lobby for delivery of the Western Rail Link to Heathrow (WRLtH) and Southern Access to Heathrow (SAtH) schemes. Regardless of whether the airport is expanded, the HATF Board consider both schemes vital components for delivering a sustainable transport strategy that meets the needs of airport passengers, workers, and the wider region.
Both schemes require strong leadership and financial commitment from the government, now more than ever given the current uncertainties faced by the aviation industry as a result of both the court of appeals ruling on the Government’s aviation policy and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. With both schemes already having faced significant delays, and with both schemes at a crucial junctures in their respective developments, the HATF board consider it is important to continue to lobby government and MP’s for these vial links.
For these reasons, HATF have recently written to Grant Shapps the Secretary of State for Transport to remind him of the importance to which the HATF Board attach to both of these schemes. Similarly the HATF Board is now encouraging HATF members, local authorities, LEPs and other relevant organisations and authorities to similarly write to Government and particularly their MPs with their own lobbying letters. To help support this, HATF are providing attached some background information on the scheme including;
- A summary of the key benefits that might be provided by Western Rail Access and Southern Access based on publicly available material;
- A list of local MPs together with their contact details;
- A copy of a letter from HATF to Grant Shapps setting out HATF’s support to the schemes;
- A reply from Grant Shapps to HATF confirming his support for both schemes but that also the DCO for Western Rail faces further delay due to the paused expansion programme and the impact of the covid-19 virus.
- A copy of a letter from the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce to Grant Shapps setting out their arguments for the scheme; and,
- A letter from Network Rail to the HATF chair with further supporting information.
We hope you find this useful for your own lobbying efforts. Please do keep the HATF secretariat updated on any correspondence you receive on this.