London Birmingham Airport

Will HS2 make Birmingham London's fifth airport?

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Royal Assent was given for High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) back in February 2017, linking London to Birmingham and beyond. This new line will reduce travel times between the two cities from 1hr 29m to a mere 49 minutes. Currently, there are two stations planned for Birmingham, which is part of HS2 Phase One, with the main terminus at Curzon Street, but also a stop called Birmingham Interchange which will be near the airport. The current plan will be to have a "People Mover" connecting the starion with the Airport, in a similar fashion to how Birmingham International station is connected now.

There are many pros and cons for HS2 which I won't go into here, but what the construction of HS2 will do, is put Birmingham Airport much closer to London, and in turn, this could bring in a new stream of passengers looking to avoid the congested London airports.

The table below indicates the travel times by train to the current airports serving the London area, with Birmingham included:

# Airport Travel Time(mins)
1 Heathrow 15
2 City 22
3 Luton 24
4 Gatwick 30
5 Birmingham 38
6 Stanstead 47
7 Southend 53

As you can see, HS2 will make Birmingham Airport a very viable option for those already flying out of London, with travel times to Birmingham Interchange being only 38 minutes, this makes it quicker than both Stanstead and Southend and only eight minutes slower than getting to London Gatwick. Considering you get more delays at the likes of Heathrow and Gatwick with their extremely tightly packed flight schedules, and also the more expensive costs of travelling from London's airports, Birmingham could start to become a worthwhile alternative. The question is, would we want more passengers and flights crowding BHX, which is currently a reasonable regional airport?

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