The prospect of a direct rail link from Basingstoke to Heathrow is welcome news, and long overdue.

The backing of the scheme by London Mayor Sadiq Khan brings it one step closer to reality.

Heathrow is a nightmare to get to from Basingstoke, a journey I have undertaken many times.

It’s either an expensive taxi ride away, or a long slog up the M3 and congested M25 with expensive parking, or a long bus trip from either Basingstoke or Woking plus a mile walk underground from the central bus station.

The trip can take anything up to two hours, as opposed to 45 minutes by a direct train service.

Moreover, there will be massive carbon savings and air quality improvements arrived at by removing thousands of car journeys a day.

If this were any other country, I’m sure we’d have had it built by now.

Instead, under the current regime, we’re talking about closing ticket offices and cutting services.

We need a change of government and a change of culture when it comes to public transport.

The benefits are obvious, but the current government is so penny-pinching and risk-averse, that it can’t recognise a good investment when it sees one, hoping instead that private capital will do the job.

We should be looking at upgrading our station in Basingstoke to cope with the new trains, and investing in our ticket offices so that our elderly and disabled passengers are not discouraged from travelling.

Cllr Andrew McCormick 

Labour, Brighton Hill

Warwick Road,


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