The Department for Transport has confirmed HS2 will not include a Heathrow spur as part of the first or second phase of the programme.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin confirmed the government does “not intend to build the spur as part of Phase 1 or 2 of the HS2 scheme”, in a written response to Conservative MP for Beaconsfield Dominic Grieve.
The first phase of HS2 covers the route from London to the West Midlands, while the second phase will take the route north from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds.
Mr McLoughlin added that the Airports Commission’s review of the implications of an HS2 spur on surface access to Heathrow, published in November 2014, found that “an HS2 spur is highly unlikely to be necessary to support any expansion of Heathrow airport”.
The DfT paused work on the HS2 Heathrow spur in January 2013 pending the outcome of the Airport Commission’s final report, which is due to be published after the general election.
A DfT spokeswoman said the Heathrow spur had not been ruled out, and that a final decision on the long-term provision of a spur beyond Phase 2 would be taken after the Airports Commission has published its final report.
HS2 passengers would be able to connect to Heathrow Airport by changing onto Crossrail at Old Oak Common.