A RAIL user group has made renewed calls to develop a railway link between Braintree and Stansted Airport.

David Bigg, chairman of the Witham and Braintree Rail Users’ Association, said the group was pushing for investment to be made in the rail link and was looking into potential sources of funding from infrastructure budgets.

If built, the group estimates it could provide journey times to the airport of around 20 minutes from Braintree and 30 minutes from Witham.

Rail users wanting to go to the airport have to go into London and back out again, a journey which takes around two hours from Braintree.

Mr Bigg said: “We estimate it would cost £262.5million and it would take six years to complete.

“We are going to probe to see if there is money available anywhere for this.

"I think the need for the link is proven and there is a strong business case for it as well, but we have got to see if anyone is willing to take the project on.”

The rail users’ association is also pushing for the development of the infamous Cressing Loop, which it estimates would cost an estimated £12.5 million.

The airport said its first priority was improving reliability and journey times on the West Anglia mainline.

Karen Smart, Stansted Airport’s asset management director, said: “As a major transport hub in the region and the UK’s number one airport for public transport use by passengers, we support the principle of improving sustainable surface access to the airport where and when possible, although any proposals would need to be supported by sufficient passenger demand and be commercially viable for the operator.”