Runway delay costing the UK £6m every day
‘Urgent’ need for decision say MPs
MPS from across the political divide have demanded an ‘urgent’ decision on whether to expand Heathrow or Gatwick airport.
The delay in making a decision over where to build a new runway is costing the UK up to £6 million a day, a report by a cross-party Commons body claims.
The British Infrastructure Group (BIG), headed by Conservative MP Grant Shapps, urged new prime minister Theresa May to show her ‘mettle’ by ending the speculation.
Its report entitled Gate Now Closing, which was published on Sunday July 24, calls for an ‘urgent and immediate decision on hub airport expansion’.
The report does not state where group thinks a new runway should be built, but it argues that the indecision is having a deleterious effect on Britain’s businesses, the economy and jobs.
“The problem of capacity at the current hub, Heathrow, is causing substantial damage to the industry as a whole,” the report says.
“It erodes confidence in the government’s stated ambition of growing the economy and our international trade.
“The evidence has been gathered by the Airports Commission. Now a decision is needed, to show the new leadership’s mettle.”
The Airports Commission last summer recommended building a third runway at Heathrow over a second landing strip at Gatwick.
The government’s decision was initially delayed last year when further environmental studies were commissioned, and then in June, following the outcome of the EU referendum.
The Department for Transport has not indicated when a decision is likely, following Chris Grayling’s appointment as the new transport secretary.
Theresa May’s election as prime minister, and the appointment to her cabinet of a number of Heathrow opponents, saw one bookmaker slash the odds on Gatwick winning the battle for a new runway.
Heathrow recently unveiled new images and video footage showing how an expanded airport would look, which it said showed it was ready to begin work as soon as it got the go-ahead.
n INDECISION: This artist’s impression for Heathrow is one of the options for the future of air travel in the UK; (left) Grant Shapps says Theresa May needs to end speculation now