Pitch 200 : New 15 minute Heathrow Gatwick rail link wins regional heat

Better European connections and a 15 minute journey between Heathrow and Gatwick would be possible with a high speed rail link between the two. This idea won East of England's Pitch 200.

Pitch 200: East of England chair Andy Palmer congratulates winner Alistair Lenczner
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Pitch 200: East of England chair Andy Palmer congratulates winner Alistair Lenczner

A high speed rail line linking HS1 and HS2 would reduce traffic congestion and effectively make Heathrow and Gatwick into one airport - was the winning project at East of England’s Pitch 200.

Called HS4 Air, civil engineer Alistair Lenczner used his 200 seconds to present ‘Joining up the UK’s infrastructure to maximise investment value’.

He said the lack of a UK infrastructure plan means projects are completed in silos without a big picture overview. Poor communication between government departments and agencies has led to a fragmented approach.

Other countries have a 30 year infrastructure plan including all modes of transport. The majority of European countries have transnational rail lines linking airports and capital cities – unlike the UK which lags behind.

The judges were impressed with his concept making him the winner with a place in the grand final in London in November.

Other Pitch 200 ideas included:

  • Oliver Neve: How far wood you go? – the use of timber instead of concrete and steel in construction
  • Cesar Tejada Fernandez: A picture paints a thousand words – the use of photogrammetry in civil engineering
  • Amber Claughton: How civil engineering can save lives – access to clean water and adequate sanitation for everyone
  • Peter Wyllie: North London artificial recharge scheme – Britain’s only artificially-recharged aquifer used for public water supply
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