Heathrow Airtrack Waterloo rail link shelved by BAA

Heathrow Terminal 5 The line would have connected Heathrow's Terminal 5 to London Waterloo, Reading and Guildford

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A controversial rail link from Heathrow's Terminal 5 through south west London has been shelved due to a lack of money, according to the BAA.

The £675m line would have connected the airport terminal to Reading, Guildford and London Waterloo stations.

BAA said its decision to withdraw the rail link application followed concerns raised over level crossings delays.

"We have been unable to develop solutions which fully address these concerns," BAA said.

Richmond council had opposed the scheme due to increased congestion it said would occur at barriers at Barnes, Mortlake and North Sheen.

Heathrow's surface access director Allan Gregory said: "We've listened to the concerns raised by local residents about the impact of Airtrack and worked hard to try and resolve issues including level crossings.

"Despite our considerable efforts, including discussions with Network Rail and the local highway authorities, we have been unable to develop solutions which fully address these concerns."

He added the project was also cancelled due to lack of funds.

"We have considered alternative scheme options and how these might be funded but in the absence of securing additional funding in the current economic climate, Heathrow Airport is unable to justify meeting the full cost of the project," he said.

Richmond council is yet to comment on the cancellation of the scheme.

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