T5 link 'will bring investment to Bracknell'By Jonathan Low
August 08, 2012
Business experts believe a direct rail link from Heathrow’s Terminal 5 to the Thames Valley will help attract more companies to Bracknell.
The rail link to Reading aims to cut journey time to the airport by more than 20 minutes.
The borough is already home to a number of international corporate giants including Fujitsu, Panasonic and 3M, but Bracknell’s Chamber of Commerce hopes the £500m rail link could entice more big business.
Clair Prosser, the chamber’s policy executive, said: “It is essential for attracting inward investment into the town and for global opportunities.
“This is a great example of joint lobbying from local authorities and businesses.
“This will have a positive effect on the M4 corridor and reduce journey times as well as providing direct access to Heathrow Airport.”
The town’s businesses have also welcomed the announcement, which was made by Home Secretary Theresa May in Reading on July 16, saying it will improve the journey for their employees travelling to overseas offices and journeys for existing and future national and international clients.
David Sillitoe, director of group property at Fujitsu, which has offices in Lovelace Road, said: “The new rail link is very welcome news; it will give our employees based in Bracknell a much quicker public transport route directly into Heathrow.”
Councillor Chris Turrell, Bracknell Forest Council’s representative on the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee, is cautiously optimistic businesses in the town will benefit from the proposed direct line rail link between Reading, Paddington and Heathrow Terminal 5.
He added: “Access for Bracknell Forest residents is currently by a combination of rail and bus, with journey times often in excess of an hour and a half. This latest news is an encouraging step forward.
“We need to look at the finer details but it is certainly a step in the right direction.
“A lot has been spent on Reading station and it’ll be good to have this faster link.
“There are other issues that always have to be looked at, such as the capacities of the trains, but this announcement is encouraging.”
Work on the line, which is part of the Government’s £9bn investment in rail travel, is expected to start after 2014.