Stansted calls upon Government to slash rail journey times to 30 minutes and boost economy

STANSTED Airport has this week called for significant improvements to the rail links to the airport to help create jobs and growth, improve commuter access and allow Stansted to win new passengers and airlines.

The airport is launching its ‘Stansted in 30’ campaign to urge the rail industry and Government to act now by investing to cut journey times on Stansted Express trains to and from the capital to 30 minutes.

It currently takes 45 minutes to cover the 35 miles between the airport and London Liverpool Street. Slashing journey times between the airport and London will boost Stansted’s ability to compete and bring significant benefits to communities up and down the line.

Launching the ‘Stansted in 30’ campaign, Stansted’s Managing Director, Nick Barton, said: “We want the rail industry and Government to act now to slash the Stansted to Liverpool Street journey to 30 minutes. Businesses, passengers and airlines tell us how important fast, reliable and quality rail services are. Whilst we have the newest trains serving any UK airport, we know there is still plenty more to do when it comes to improving speed and reliability.

“I’m very proud that nearly 49 per cent of our passengers already use public transport to get to and from the airport – the highest of any major UK airport. But we can’t maintain or build on this success without major rail investment, which has to be included in the Government’s policy announcement this summer.”

Sir Alan Haselhurst MP is supporting the campaign and said: “I am very pleased that the Airport has signalled its determination to campaign for a better deal for users of the West Anglia mainline. I have been lobbying the Government and Network Rail for years to get their act together and do something about the speed, frequency and reliability of our rail services.

“I understand the importance to an airport on the threshold of Cambridge and surrounded by many small and medium-sized businesses of having a fast connection to the capital. Regular commuters equally deserve the improved standard of service to which extra track capacity is the essential key.

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“The Government will publish its plans for rail investment up to the 2020s this summer. The time is right for ministers to recognise the needs of commuters, business and air passengers alike. It is an alliance which should be heeded without further delay”.

Business groups along the line have also got behind the campaign with Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive at London Chamber of Commerce and Industry noting:

“Better and faster rail access to London’s airports such as Stansted creates the connectivity our international trading partners in European and emerging markets require to do business in London. With the Government keen to see more inward investment and increased exports, slashing journey times to London’s airports is vital to boosting growth and productivity in London and the UK as a whole”.