Business Travel can be a massive pain in the backside for plenty of reasons, yet strangely we at Dakota enjoy nearly every aspect of it, from being at the airport to the flight itself, and now a government transport minister has spoken of the “benefits” of direct trains to speed up the process even further, hopping to take the stress out of the process. These direct trains will run from Woking and Weybridge to Heathrow as part of the airport expansion plans. Andrew Jones, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Department for Transport, was speaking at Westminster Hall in the Commons on Wednesday (March 22).

He said: “A clear consideration has to be access points [to Heathrow], it is clearly a major concern. “As part of the proposals for Heathrow we are looking at how to improve public transport access to the airport. “The proposed Southern Rail Access Scheme has the potential to greatly improve access to Heathrow airport from Surrey, Hampshire, and the South West Trains network. “This could include, for example, direct trains to Heathrow from Weybridge or from Woking.”

The minister admitted the proposals are at a “very early stage of development”, with the government looking to “maximise the benefits” for both airport and non-airport users. Surrey County Council has published a report to “robustly assess options for the provision of a rail connection between the South West rail network and London Heathrow airport”. It says: “As a result of the relatively poor public transport accessibility from Surrey to Heathrow, car and taxi currently account for almost 89% of total mode share for trips to the airport from the county.

One option is an estimated £1.6 billion scheme linking Heathrow Terminal 5 to the Chertsey line via tunnel and a 20 metre high viaduct running alongside the M25. Network Rail says in its report of the project that this scheme would provide a journey time from Woking to Terminal 5 of between 23 and 28 minutes, with four trains per hour possible. The scheme recommended by the county council is a link from Terminal 5 via tunnel and then a track running alongside the M25 connecting to the Staines and Windsor line. Journey times from Woking to Heathrow would be between 32 and 37 minutes and the scheme would cost up to £1 billion.

We love the idea of being to go directly to Heathrow Airport, making Business travel to and from Dakota exceptionally quick while allowing us to go on holiday with ease. I think we might be have to book another holiday very soon….Morocco or Marbella?