Latest Rail News

13.05.16

DfT rejects calls for greater role in improving airport rail connections

Recommendations from MPs that the DfT takes a more active role in improving rail connections to airports have been rejected.

In a report, published in February, the Transport Select Committee said that rail connections were crucial for improving access to airports and urged the government to do more to develop them.

However, in its response the DfT has said it believes a number of the recommendations either fall outside its remit or are already covered by existing work in this area.

For example, in response to the recommendation that as a first step the department should publish plans which show how it will improve signposting to public surface transport options at airports, the department replied that airport operators were “best placed” to do so.

Similarly, when asked how the department would encourage local authorities, Network Rail and Highways England to avoid simultaneous rail and road closures on the same route, it said engagement in this area was already good and any further government oversight was “unnecessary”.

In response to concerns raised by the committee about the government’s failure to clarify how HS2 will be used to improve airport access, the department said that it will include plans for airport connectivity when it announces the preferred route decision for phase 2 this autumn.

It also confirmed that it supports an HS2 station at Manchester Airport if appropriate local funding can be found.

In response to the recommendation that it work more closely with airport operators when delivering smart ticketing across the country, the department replied that individual operators and local authorities were best placed to deliver smart ticketing.

(Image c. Heathrow)

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Comments

Manchester Mike   13/05/2016 at 14:53

DfT smacks of "Nuffin to do wiff me Guv..."

Noam Bleicher   14/05/2016 at 11:39

Mike - why on Earth should the DfT be involved in signing surface transport options within airports? If the airport operators are unable to do this themselves they're in the wrong job.

Lutz   15/05/2016 at 17:18

On the surface it sounds like the DfT is ducking from getting involved possibly due to the arguments going on around additional airport capacity in the South East, but then looking at the details at the DfT's responses it's judgements sound fine with the exception being that on smart ticketing. It would certainly help in the long term if the DfT took an active role in setting long term parameters for any solutions that might be proposed.

Lesf   20/05/2016 at 13:46

"an HS2 station at Manchester Airport if appropriate local funding can be found." Sounds like they are softening us up for the news that Manchester airport will not have an HS2 station. If another limb is to drop off HS2, will it have any left?

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