The Infrastructure Projects Authority doesn’t think so. Perhaps this is why there’s a Windsor Link in Manchester but as yet no Windsor Link in Windsor.
The Windsor Link in Manchester is a relatively cheap missing link in the network that gives rail users new journey opportunities, reduced journey times and improved reliability. Like the nearby Ordsall Chord (pictured), it fixes historical anomalies and it’s been a great success.
As HS2’s future is cast into doubt, it’s time, however, to ask about the long-term costs of a politically-led railway, where fares go up every year and service and comfort is often well below that in the private sector. Misdirected rail investment has the unintended consequence of pushing people back to their cars, even if they’d prefer a convenient rail service.
This you can see in the M25 section west of Heathrow. It’s the busiest section of the busiest motorway in the country, a major strategic pinch point. It contributes hugely to pollution but there’s no directly alternative rail connection. The Windsor Link provides this missing strategic link, greatly improving journey times to London and around the airport as well as saving the environment. Better still it can be built at no net cost to the taxpayer over its lifetime, meaning it more than pays for itself so fares can go down.