Following on from the Market Led Proposal Guidance announced last month, the government has today invited proposals for southern and western rail access to Heathrow.

It has estimated the cost of separate western the southern links at up to £0.9 billion and £1.4 billion respectively, making a total of £2.3 billion for the construction only (excluding operation, planning and financing costs).

Funding for the construction of both schemes is yet to be committed. The proposed western scheme has funding for the ‘Develop’ stage and the southern scheme is inviting proposals at the ‘Pre-Determine’ stage of the process for market-led proposals.

The Windsor Link Railway provides a solution to both western and southern access to Heathrow at potentially no cost to government, saving taxpayers an estimated £3 billion pounds as well as greater improvements to air quality in the vicinity of Heathrow. This also fits with Network Rail’s advice to government, which is to consider rail access to Heathrow ‘holistically’.