The UK Government has invited private companies to submit proposals to deliver a new southern rail link to Heathrow Airport.
UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has launched a call for ideas on market-led proposals to improve the railway network in the country. The new rail link to Heathrow Airport will be the first project under this plan that aims to encourage local authorities and private sector companies to invest in railway sector.
The plan is expected to generate additional investment into the railway industry, in addition to the £47bn investment already committed by the government over the next five years.
Grayling said: “We are investing in the most significant modernisation of the UK rail network since Victorian times, and I want the knowledge and expertise of investors and local partners to contribute to delivering new connections, more services and better journeys for passengers.
“This has already proved effective on a number of roads schemes in the UK. By encouraging innovative ideas and new investment on our railways, we can relieve the burden on taxpayers and fare payers with projects that match our transport needs.”
The new link to the airport is expected to generate significant benefits for passengers across the entire network.
Multiple consortia have already expressed their interest in building the southern link. The Department for Transport is also working to complete a new western rail link to the airport.
Additionally, the government has established a new process to more effectively evaluate public-funded rail projects in the future.