The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) based in London decided on Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) case (News) on charging user fees for the new Crossrail Project – The Elizabeth Line to access Heathrow Airport’s tracks in an attempt to recoup previous construction costs of up to £1 billion (May 31 Exchange Rates: US$1.29 billion, €1.15 billion).
Office of Rail and Roads
The ORR made the decision and upheld its earlier decision to disallow HAL from imposing additional fees for Crossrail to access tracks located at Heathrow Airport. Its spokesperson said: “As the independent regulator for the UK’s railways, we have a statutory role in ensuring charges to run trains on relevant networks are underpinned by evidence and comply with legal requirements.
“In May 2016, taking into account representations and evidence from affected parties, including considerable documentation and submissions from Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL), we decided HAL is not permitted to introduce all of its proposed new charges for train operators to use its track, which links Heathrow Airport to the Great Western Main Line.
“HAL launched a judicial review of our decision and after a three-day hearing, the court has dismissed HAL’s application and upheld our decision. We welcome this judgment and we will now work with all the affected parties to enable Crossrail services to start running as scheduled into the airport.”
Heathrow Airport Limited
HAL is rightfully disappointed with the decision but will not appeal further at the moment.
“Heathrow is committed to increasing sustainable public transport to the airport – that’s why we invested in Crossrail, built the Heathrow Express rail service, support Piccadilly Line services to the airport, and subsidise Europe’s largest free bus network,” HAL spokesperson explained.
“We are looking forward to the arrival of Crossrail in May 2018 as part of our plans to treble Heathrow’s rail capacity by 2040 and put the airport at the heart of an integrated transport network in London.
“While we are disappointed with today’s ruling and are considering our next steps, both Heathrow and Network Rail agree that track access charges must be fair to encourage future private investment in the rail network.”
By 2030, the airport hopes to connect United Kingdom and London with up to five different train lines including the Tube (subway), Heathrow Express (airport express to Paddington Station), Southern Rail, Western Rail Link and High Speed 2 via Crossrail.