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London City Airport | Crossrail ‘a missed opportunity’

bam london city airport

London City Airport chief development officer Peter Adams has bemoaned the lack of a Crossrail station at the airport.

Speaking at New Civil Engineer’s Airports Conference, Adams said Crossrail “feels like a missed opportunity”.

Crossrail is due to pass the central London terminal but passengers will have no way of directly accessing it from the airport.

“Why didn’t they put a station right next to the airport, I don’t know. It feels like a missed opportunity,” he said. “Crossrail is practically on our door step.

“Crossrail is going to open before we finish developing, but at some point in the future perhaps a link could be developed.”

Adams said that an improved Docklands Light Railway connection between the airport and Poplar is now being explored as a means of connecting passengers to Crossrail.

British Aviation Group deputy chair and director Mike Forster raised similar concerns when speaking at the conference.

“We are getting Crossrail but we are not connecting it to our central airports,” he said. “People coming into London City Airport will be able to see Crossrail go by but they will have no way of getting on.”

Instead Forster said that more needs to be done to integrate the different transport systems in the UK.

He added: “In this country we do not have an integrated transport system.

“Our rivals in Amsterdam for example recognise the benefit of an integrated transport plan and are putting high speed trains right beneath the airport.

“Airports are just a way of connecting our airspace, the trick now is to connect airspace to land.”

Robert Bird Group director Terry Raggett has also joined the calls for action, stating that a “truly multi-modal transportation strategy” must be put in place.

He said: “The technical development of airport infrastructure is proceeding apace, but perhaps the biggest challenge remains how people get to and from the airport.

“There needs to be a truly multi-modal transportation strategy, which engages both public and private agencies and investment models: an integrated approach that focuses on the convenience of the passenger and provides optimum connectivity with cities while minimising environmental impact both at a local and regional level.”

But calls for greater integration between transport arms are nothing new.

As Airport Operators Association chief executive Karen Dee pointed out: “There has been a call for an integrated transported system since John Prescott was transport secretary.

“The main problem being that airports are privately run and the owners will not always see the cost benefit of putting a station in.

“But to start you need to get these separate bodies talking to each other. Highways England and Network Rail should be in talks with airports.”

Readers' comments (2)

  • Even more ludicrous is the lack of direct connection between CR and HS1 at Stratford, where you can stand and see HS1 platforms but have to go on a silly DLR loop that ends at an unconnected station. Bit rubbish actually.

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  • David Hall

    I'm inclined to think our industry is still too preocuppied with infrastructure and assets. Where's the passion for end-to-end journeys and experience, that's what passengers, travellers and users talk about and want! With more of our infrastructure leaders having cross sector experience what's stopping people getting together and just making it happen.

    Maybe 'DfT' is the problems here, isn't the clue in the name, rather too much looking to the past, where transport equals different sorts of assets, road, rail, airports, etc.; how about 'DfJ', Department for Journeys, then maybe we'd see people looking through the telescope the other way, the right way, from the customer's perspective ?!?

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