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A world class rail link for Stansted

London First today publishes a report calling for a step-change improvement in rail access to Stansted Airport. The report, “A World Class Rail Link for Stansted”, puts forward proposals that could cut the journey time of the Stansted Express by almost a fifth to under 40 minutes, almost halve its delays and create new headroom to improve journeys for commuters as well as airport passengers.

The full £620m package of improvements would bring the number of passengers within an hour’s journey of the airport by rail and coach to some 2 million and bring estimated economic benefits of more than £1.2 billion.

The report suggests a route map for improvements to the quality of Stansted Express services from Liverpool Street over the next five to seven years. London First believes these would create an enhanced Stansted Express link that would spur competition between London’s major airports and support the growth of Britain’s international air links.

Baroness Jo Valentine, chief executive of London First 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.”

London First recommends that:

  • The Airports Commission should call on Government to commit to a step-change improvement in the quality of the Stansted Express in its interim report this year.
  • Government should establish a taskforce with Ministerial leadership to oversee the development, funding and implementation of better rail links to our major airports, starting with the creation of a world-class rail link to Stansted.
  • A route map for improvements should be funded and developed immediately, with the participation of Network Rail, Transport for London, Stansted Airport and Abellio (the current train operator) amongst others.

Read more about London First’s work to improve aviation capacity

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