Fri, 20 Nov 2020
Newbury MP Laura Farris has been elected co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Western Rail Link between Reading and Heathrow Airport.
She is to share the post with fellow Berkshire MP Tan Dhesi, who represents Slough.
The proposed link will create a direct rail connection between Reading and Heathrow Airport.
Journey times are estimated at around 26 minutes, and the ground-breaking project will place 20 per cent of the UK population within one interchange of a major airport.
At present, the area is poorly-serviced by public transport networks.
The vast majority of journeys to Heathrow are by car, making the airport a significant source of pollution and congestion.
The construction of the new link is set to inject £800m into the regional economy.
Among the other members of the committee scrutinising the scheme is Lord Andrew Adonis, who served as Secretary of State for Transport under Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Mrs Farris met with Transport Minister Chris Heaton-Harris on Tuesday to discuss the plans.
They were joined by representatives from Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.
Mrs Farris said: "A Western Rail Link to Heathrow would drastically improve travel times to the UK's busiest airport for my constituents, while helping to reduce congestion on some of our busiest roads.
"It would be a cleaner, cheaper, and more convenient option for many West Berkshire families, and would have the added benefit of avoiding high parking charges at Heathrow Airport itself.
"On November 17, I held an inaugural meeting to reconvene this cross-party group of MPs and look forward to further discussions with Network Rail and Heathrow Airport to help make this project a reality."