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Transport for London hits back at Chris Grayling's dismissal of Heathrow costs

Rebecca Smith
TfL has stood by its cost estimates of transport improvements to Heathrow
TfL has stood by its cost estimates of transport improvements to Heathrow (Source: Getty)

Transport for London (TfL) has hit back at the transport secretary, after he branded its cost estimates for rail and road improvements around Heathrow expansion "ludicrous".

The Airports Commission had estimated that surface infrastructure changes would cost £5bn, but TfL responded by saying the figure underestimated the cost and required changes would cost in the realms of £15m-£20m.

A TfL spokesperson reiterated the prediction after Chris Grayling said he did not see where the £15bn could have come from.

Read more: The boss of BA had no idea Heathrow expansion would demolish his £200m HQ

"Expansion at Heathrow will significantly increase demand for access to the airport," they said.

Our expert analysis indicates approximately £15bn more investment will be needed beyond what is already committed and the key component of this is a new southern rail link from Waterloo to Heathrow.

Thus far, the government has given no commitments to deliver this new rail link, despite the Airport’s Commissions recommendation to do so and, without such a commitment, the aspirations for no increase in road traffic are not credible.

Transport for London analysis of Heathrow expansion surface access costs

Funder

Delivery

TfL estimate

ROAD

M4 SMART Motorway

Highways England

2020s

-

Expansion enabling works

No

Expansion

£1.2bn

M4 widening Junctions 2-4a

No

Expansion

£2.0bn

Maintenance for new roads/tunnels (to 2050)

No

Expansion

c. £0.7bn

Local road capacity and bus enhancement measures

No

Expansion

c. £1.6bn

Area traffic management

No

Expansion

c. £0.8bn

RAIL

Crossrail

Yes

2018

-

Piccadilly line Upgrade

Yes

2020s

-

Western Rail Access

“Committed”

2024

£0.6bn

Southern Rail Access

No

Expansion

-

South West Main Line Link

No

Expansion

c. £8.0bn

TOTAL

c. £15bn


Read more: Chris Grayling calls TfL's Heathrow expansion cost estimates "ludicrous"

Grayling made the comments yesterday while giving evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee on Heathrow's third runway.

On TfL's cost estimate for surface infrastructure changes, the transport secretary said it looked to him as if "somebody has taken every possible transport improvement in the whole of metropolitan London and thrown it into the mix, and probably funding a large chunk of Crossrail 2 out of it as well".

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