I am sure that by now you will have heard the long-awaited and controversial Government announcement to approve a third runway at Heathrow.
The controversial issue of expanding the UK’s airport capacity is not new and has been subject of intense debate for many years.
A public consultation will now be held on the effects of airport expansion, followed by the Government’s final decision next year.
That’s why for this month’s epoll, I want to know whether you are in favour of expansion at Heathrow, Gatwick or no expansion in London and the South East.
Supporters of expansion at Heathrow argue that without increased airport capacity at Heathrow, the UK will lose out on business competitiveness and struggle to compete with other international airports like Paris and Amsterdam. They say that a third runway would boost jobs, bring the biggest benefits to the wider economy and offer the best connectivity to London.
Supporters of Gatwick, on the other hand, argue that this option does not pose the complicated legal challenges facing Heathrow and would be deliverable by 2025. The project would be entirely privately-funded, unlike Heathrow expansion, and guarantee that air quality levels would remain with the current legal limits.
Those who do not want to see any expansion in London and the South East have raised serious concerns about air quality and noise pollution if there are an estimated 260,000 extra flights a year over London. They also warn of the negative environmental impact on London and the damage to local communities as a result of the demolition of homes, increased traffic on the M25 and the possible astronomical price tag of the whole project to the taxpayer. Some have also expressed concerns at the overheating of the London and South East economy and the failure to invest in other regions and regional airports.
So, for this month’s epoll, I want to know whether you are in favour of ‘Heathrow’, ‘Gatwick’ or ‘No Expansion’:
Please do include any comments you wish to make – I will take them all into account and respond to as many as possible.
Tom Brake MP
PS. I want to know what you think about airport expansion – click here.