London Heathrow Airport has revealed its plans to increase the connectivity at the airport by introducing new rail links.
The airport’s rail capacity is set to treble from 5,000 to 15,000 seats per hour, or from 18 to 40 hourly trains, from planned improvements across the network.
The new rail links include a new fast connection with High-Speed 2 at Old Oak Common, which will reduce journey times between Heathrow and Manchester by two hours and eight minutes. Journey times from the airport to Birmingham and Leeds will also be slashed
Another direct link will connect with the Great Western Line, cutting journey times from Cardiff by 37 minutes.
The new connections will allow more than 70% of the UK’s population to reach Heathrow airport within three hours by public transport, with 12 million people able to reach the airport within 60 minutes.
In addition, passengers can avoid the travelling through central London or the London Underground network completely.
Earles said the plan is to connect Heathrow to every economic centre in Britain.
"New air and rail links including HS2, Western Rail, Southern Rail and Crossrail will transform journey times from Heathrow compared to today," Earles said. "Millions more people will have quick access to the UK’s global hub and be within easy reach of the world’s markets."
The expansion of the Heathrow airport will help create more number of air routes from Heathrow to different destinations in the UK.
The new connections will also support Heathrow’s aim to increase the proportion of passengers using public transport to access the airport, which is expected to increase from 40% to 60% by 2040.
Image: An artist’s impression of the expanded London Heathrow Airport. Photo: courtesy of Heathrow.