You are probably aware of Heathrow?s proposed ?Airtrack? scheme: a rail link between Terminal 5 and the existing rail network to the South and West. In some ways it is an attractive proposal, but raises a number of important issues for all those living in this area. I have written the following letter to Heathrow AirTrack (copying in TFL) and urge you all, if you have time, to write something similar. If you are able to, please also copy me in.
10 December 2008
I am writing to you to express some concerns regarding the Airtrack scheme. Before doing so, I would like to make clear that I support any plans to cut congestion and provide a better quality public transport infrastructure.
However I believe the effect of long delays at a number of important level crossings in the area needs to be taken into account if the scheme is to succeed.
Sheen Lane, White Hart Lane, Manor Road and Vine Road all have level crossings and will all be seriously impacted by the proposed scheme. It is possible, indeed likely, that the bars will be down, preventing the movement of traffic for up to 45 minutes in the hour. This is clearly unacceptable.
As you will know, the routes I?ve cited are vital not only for the school run, but for emergency services and all those involved in trading in Sheen Lane and the Upper Richmond Rd. It will also affect their customers, elderly people needing to move to and from the Health Centre in Sheen Lane and local residents more generally.
It would be a great shame if the various advantages of Airtrack are outweighed by the disadvantages to these interest groups, and I strongly urge you to give them proper consideration.
I would appreciate an indication from you as to how you intend to reconcile the project with the above concerns. Specifically, I?d like to know if you have sought and received information from Richmond Council regarding the impact of the additional closure time on traffic flows, and whether or not you have approached TFL for information on traffic flow in the affected areas.
I very much look forward to hearing from you,
Parliamentary Candidate for Richmond Park and North Kingston