Carl Atkinson Blog
24 September 2014
Why Windsor Link Railway is boosting the local property market
Windsor Link Railway (WLR) aims to improve the connections between economic areas around the M3 and M4 corridors leading into London. It will connect the South West and Great Western train lines and potentially link both to London Heathrow Airport.
For the Staines to Slough section of the railway, the estimated cost is £200 million, excluding the proposed work on roads and buildings. The focus is on a short tunnel through central Windsor, to avoid any additional traffic congestion in the town centre.
The railway will be a great asset to the town and will almost certainly fuel further increases to property prices especially around the town centre.
The demand for houses in Windsor is rife at the moment and the popular Victorian terraces that are within walking distance of local train stations have already jumped anywhere from 7-12% more than what they were selling for in 2013.
Windsor and the surrounding areas contain some of the most exclusive and sought-after housing in the UK. The area's popularity stems from its fantastic variety of property types, desirable town centre, excellent schools and location, less than a one hour drive from Central London. Average house prices in Windsor are currently just under £500,000, according to Zoopla, a 4.66% increase from just six months ago.
Windsor already offers some excellent communication links with the immediate road network connecting to the nearby M3, M4 and M25 motorways. But the introduction of the WLR will make this beautiful town even more attractive to commuters looking for more relaxing surroundings outside of London.
Benefits of Windsor Link Railway
• Get to London faster
Windsor Link Railway will provide more frequent and faster trains to both Paddington and Waterloo. Phase 1 will provide trains running every 15 minutes, in both directions and reduce the time it takes to get from Windsor to Waterloo by up to 20 minutes. Windsor will also be
boosted thanks to the better rail connections to south London, an important economic area.
• Quicker routes to Heathrow
Once phase 2 is complete local residents will be able to get to Heathrow in just six minutes, making Windsor a top spot for both international business and tourism.
• Linking Windsor to Crossrail
The WLR link to Heathrow will mean Crossrail can easily be extended to Windsor, in a very cost-effective way, making it even easier for locals, tourists and businesses to get to central London.
Future phases could then provide new services to High Wycombe, via Maidenhead and the South, via Ascot.
• Preserving our heritage and helping the environment
Windsor's surrounding motorways are already full and the smaller back roads and more suited to leisurely drives rather than commuters, so electric rail makes an environmentally friendly alternative.
Also, with the new railway station and rail route planned to go straight through the town centre, there is a good reason to invest and improve the visual appearance of the riverside area, enhancing views of the castle and providing a better quality riverside environment.
• Boosting the local economy
Improved travel routes will increase the quality of life for residents, add value to their houses, improve prospects for local businesses and provide more employment, whilst complementing local efforts to re-invigorate the town centre.
Traditionally, transport planners prefer to build new infrastructure outside of town centres because it's easier. However, this creates two problems: it sucks the life out of town centres and reduces precious Green Belt areas. The Windsor Link Railway takes the opposite approach. By building the railway through a short tunnel under the town, it draws more economic activity straight into the town, but without the pollution and congestion problems caused by extra car traffic.
*Carl Atkinson is Residential Sales Manager at Romans Estate Agents in Windsor