ANOTHER spanner was thrown into the HS2 works this week with news that another high-speed rail link could be built between Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
The £5bn route would create an airport hub called Heathwick, but the plan has already been rubbished by Heathrow operator BAA for being unworkable.
It would travel mostly underground along the route of the M25 and was said to be a cheaper alternative to building a new airport in the Thames Estuary.
A Department for Transport (DfT) spokesman denied the scheme was a government proposal and said it was only one suggestion put forward as part of its ongoing review into aviation policy.
"We are seeking views on the key issues which need to be addressed, including the importance of a UK hub airport and whether it might be possible to create a virtual hub by improving connectivity between existing airports.
"This proposal will form a useful contribution to the debate and will be considered alongside all other responses."
The aviation review will be published early next year. If the Heathwick link was built in addition to HS2, it would connect Birmingham to the UK's two biggest airports.
But the chief executive of BAA was not impressed. Willie Walsh said: "It is not an efficient way of doing things. I struggle to see how it would be funded."
The Heathwick news comes just a month after another surprise rail link option for Heathrow was proposed, a £500m spur to the Great Western main line.