We’re all going on a Summer Holiday: Planes, Trains and Automobiles
It’s July and summer has arrived; there is talk of heatwaves followed by torrential thunderstorms (a typical British summer), the kids finish school this month and we sit and dream of sipping cocktails while lying on a sandy beach during our working day sat at our desks.
It’s time to have a holiday.
Last year in 2014 nearly 7 in 10 people (68%) took at least one UK holiday and more than half of us (53%) took at least one holiday abroad.1
The chances are if we are going abroad we will be flying by plane or travelling by car or train to get to our destinations in the UK.
Heathrow is one of the world’s busiest airports, handling over 70 million passengers a year but to keep Britain competitive with its European rivals such as Paris Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam’s Schipol and make money for the country Heathrow needs to be expanded.
The Government have backed plans for a £19 billion third runway at Heathrow with airport bosses believing that the construction of a third runway will benefit the consumer with a further choice in destinations and cheaper priced tickets.
But a higher price to pay will be the demolition of 800 homes including ancient and listed buildings in the villages of Harmondsworth, Longford and Sipson to make way for the new runway. Not to mention the noise pollution and shaking of houses when the planes are directly overhead, but there are consequences to health; in 2013 the British Medical Journal published a paper which linked the exposure to aircraft noise with increased rates of cardiovascular disease.2
We currently have the High Speed 1 (HS1) which is the International high-speed route from London St Pancras through the Channel Tunnel to Paris. The railway also provides a high speed commuter service between London and Kent.
Work on phase one of the HS2 line between London and Birmingham could start in 2017. Over 140 hectares of land around the heart of Birmingham city centre will be regenerated for HS2. Phase two is a proposed extension of the original route from Birmingham, heading North to Manchester and Leeds.
High Speed railway lines need to be built with the fewest curves possible in order for the trains to maintain their top speeds and if curves are unavoidable then larger turning circles will have to be used in order to change direction with the possible implications that railway tracks will be laid closer to homes than originally thought.
The 26 miles of Crossrail tunnels have just been completed linking Reading in the west to Heathrow, Paddington, the West End and Canary Wharf in the east. The first trains are due to start running in 2018 and with £100 million being given to develop Crossrail 2 between north east and south-west London we could see further upgrades of the railways and more stations being built.
Late last year David Cameron unveiled plans to widen the UK motorways in a £15 billion programme of works.
Over the next five years nearly 80 miles of motorway will be built in the North West with seven Smart Motorway schemes in addition to the projects currently taking place on the M62 and M60.
There are plans for a Smart Motorway between Junction’s 3 and 12 on the M4 near Reading and a proposed £1 billion relief road further west in Wales which will cut through 14 miles of wildlife habitat.
The A1 from Newcastle to Scotland will also be target for road widening and extensions.
With motorways come the service stations that we have grown to love, stopping not just to refuel the car but ourselves. Highways England recommends that the maximum distance between stations should be 28 miles but on the M25 there is a gap of 42 miles. Two possible sites have been identified, however, it would require valuable Green Belt land being built upon.
With imminent construction works if your client is looking to purchase a property, relocate, or perhaps you are acting for someone who believes their property is blighted by these proposals; Conveyancing Data Services offers a range of searches which can help the property purchaser make an informed decision on a potential home.