The government’s announcement on Heathrow is hugely disappointing – it assumes that every increasing numbers of flights are inevitable without any debate about the damage that this is doing to the environment and whether a few of the billions Heathrow will cost should be used to improve less damaging forms of transport. But even if we accept that more capacity is needed this is the wrong way to achieve it. It was only in May that Londoners overwhelmingly backed mayoral candidates who are against Heathrow expansion. The decision is a kick in the teeth for democracy. The Gatwick alternative might actually be delivered and could certainly happen much quicker.
Once more, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is providing leadership on this issue and I welcome his comments today;-
“I will continue to challenge this decision and I am exploring how I can best be involved in any legal process over the coming months.
“Most urgently, the Government must set out how it’s possible for Londoners not to suffer from the additional air and noise pollution that we know will be created by an additional runway at Heathrow.
“They also need to guarantee that they will fully fund the billions of pounds needed to improve road and rail connections to Heathrow – Londoners cannot be expected to pick up the bill for this.”