Book­ies back­ing Gatwick to get another run­way

Heathrow no longer favourite air­port for ex­pan­sion scheme

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - by Robert Cum­ber robert.cum­ber@trin­i­tymir­

A BOOKMAKER has slashed the odds on Gatwick get­ting a new run­way, mak­ing the air­port its clear favourite over Heathrow.

Bet­way now makes a sec­ond run­way at Gatwick 4/7 on, mean­ing pun­ters would get an £11 re­turn on a £7 stake should they win.

The bookmaker has length­ened the odds on a third run­way be­ing built at Heathrow to 5/4.

Pad­dyPower also makes Gatwick the favourite for a new run­way, at 4/5 on, but deems it a much tighter con­test, with Heathrow 10/11 on.

The Air­ports Com­mis­sion last sum­mer rec­om­mended a third run­way at Heathrow over a sec­ond land­ing strip at Gatwick, pro­vided cer­tain con­di­tions were met.

But Bet­way says Gatwick’s chances have been boosted sig­nif­i­cantly by Theresa May’s as­cen­sion to prime min­is­ter and her ap­point­ment of sev­eral cab­i­net mem­bers who are op­posed to Heathrow ex­pan­sion.

It also claims Sadiq Khan‘s elec­tion as Lon­don mayor, and his sup­port for ex­pand­ing Gatwick, has swung the pen­du­lum firmly to­wards the West Sus­sex air­port.

A Bet­way spokesman was quoted as say­ing: “The highly con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sion could have se­ri­ous ram­i­fi­ca­tions for May’s new gov­ern­ment, as many MPs have promised to op­pose ex­pan­sion near their con­stituen­cies at all costs.”

The bookmaker pointed out that Rich­mond Park MP Zac Gold­smith had promised to trig­ger a by-elec­tion should Heathrow win the race for a new run­way.

It also high­lighted how newly-ap­pointed ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter Jus­tine Green­ing was staunchly op­posed to Heathrow’s ex­pan­sion, while new for­eign sec­re­tary Boris John­son has promised to put his body in the way of bull­doz­ers to pre­vent a third run­way be­ing built.

John Ste­wart, chair­man of anti-Heathrow ex­pan­sion group HACAN, said: “It is still too close to call on where the new run­way will go but Gatwick must be a lot hap­pier now than they were just a few weeks ago.”

A Gatwick spokesper­son said: “It is now clearer than ever that only Gatwick can de­liver the new run­way Bri­tain needs and do so by 2025.”

How­ever, a re­cent poll sug­gested most MPs favoured ex­pand­ing Heathrow over Gatwick.

New chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond had ap­peared to sug­gest Heathrow was the front-run­ner for a new run­way when he made an un­for­tu­nate slip-up dur­ing a re­cent ra­dio in­ter­view.

A spokesman for Heathrow Air­port was not avail­able for com­ment.

NEW FAVOURITES: Gatwick Air­port may ben­e­fit from the new prime min­is­ter’s anti-Heathrow ex­pan­sion stance

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