Four-tracking of the rail line that serves Stansted Airport should be prioritised in the next five year spending period ahead of any government strategy to increase airport capacity, a senior business leader said this week.
Baroness Valentine, chief executive of business lobby group London First, told NCE that it was vital that the Department for Transport and
Network Rail consider increasing capacity on the rail connection in the next few years.
“We need to sweat the Stansted asset now,” said Valentine. “At best, if a decision is taken on what should happen with Gatwick or Heathrow soon, it will still be 10 years before anything is built.”
Valentine was referring to the work being undertaken by the Davies Commission, which late last year shortlisted three options for improving airport capacity in the South East.
It has formally shortlisted options for a new runway at Gatwick and two new runway schemes at Heathrow. (NCE 2/9 January)
“By 2021 you could get four-tracking between Liverpool Street and Stansted [the Stansted Express line],” she added.
Valentine was speaking at an Arup-organised transport for growth event at the Mipim property fair in Cannes.