West Berkshire Council

Council votes to support Heathrow projects

New runway and rail link will benefit West Berkshire businesses and residents

2018 - Heathrow Airport

West Berkshire Council voiced its support for two new Heathrow Airport projects at a meeting on Tuesday evening (3 July).

Councillors voted to record their support for the projects that will keep West Berkshire open for business and make it an even greater place to live, work and learn. West Berkshire Council has now written to local MPs, Network Rail, Heathrow Airport and the Western Rail Access to Heathrow Stakeholder Steering Group confirming its support for the projects.

pdf icon Letter in support of Heathrow Airport [59kb]

West Berkshire is almost perfectly positioned relative to Heathrow Airport, one of the world's premier international airports, carrying 78 million passengers to 204 destinations in 85 countries and two thirds of the UK's air cargo. Proximity to Heathrow is a key reason why businesses start, grow and succeed in West Berkshire. 

The first project, a rail link from the Great Western Main Line to Heathrow Airport, will bring significant benefits for the residents, businesses, economy and environment of West Berkshire, including an easier and quicker journey to the airport with direct trains from Reading Station taking only 26 minutes; less congestion on the M4 and at Paddington; reduced emissions to the equivalent of 30 million road miles a year as well as a £2 billion boost to the economy with 42,000 new jobs.

The second project is a third runway at Heathrow, which will give West Berkshire businesses even better connections to markets around the world at a time when global trade is increasingly important  and West Berkshire residents new travel opportunities. The new scheme addresses environmental and community concerns and is deliverable within the government's international carbon commitments.

Speaking in support of the Heathrow projects at the meeting Councillor Jeanette Clifford, Executive Member for Transport, said:

"The goal of this Council - this "open for business" council - is to make West Berkshire a better place in which to live, work and learn. And it's already a great place - beautiful, productive, forward-looking, ambitious, blessed by the enterprise and skills of its residents.

"There's another attribute to add to this list. West Berkshire is globally connected - through the nearby sea and airports that serve the people and businesses of our district so well. Among the ports that puts us firmly on the world stage, Heathrow stands out. Heathrow is good for West Berkshire - we have the up-sides, without the down-sides. This motion invites all Members to record their support...for these two projects that will keep West Berkshire open for business and make it an even greater place to live, work and learn." 

A vote on the motion was held and subsequently passed, formally recognising West Berkshire Council's support for the Heathrow projects.