1 November 2022, London Marriott Hotel County Hall
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
A pressure group has called for an upgrading of the Stansted Express rail route to bring the airport’s catchment area on a par with Heathrow’s.
London First argues that a package of improvements would mean trains would take less than 40 minutes – around seven minutes quicker than the current quoted fastest time - and that two million people would live within an hour of the Essex airport, the same number as those who live within the equivalent travelling time of the main London hub. The faster connection would be a stop-gap measure while the decision on building new runways in the South East is made.
London First chief executive Baroness Jo Valentine said: “We are at least a decade away from new runways serving London. We have no choice but to make more use of the assets we have to grow Britain’s air links to global markets.
“Stansted has spare runway capacity. A rail link on a par with those to Heathrow, Gatwick and other airports, would spur competition, giving Stansted a better chance to attract new airlines and passengers. It’s time to bring Stansted even closer into London’s orbit and help it realise its full potential.”
The proposals centre on solving the congestion that the train suffers as a result of sharing its line with commuter services to the capital on the West Anglia Main Line.
London First says track layout at London’s Liverpool Street Station needs to be redesigned and bottlenecks where the line narrows to two tracks must be removed. Passing loops in the Broxbourne area are also needed, London First added.
London First estimates the total cost of work needed at £620m but adds that economic benefits would total £1.2 billion.