LibLink: Vince Cable opposes Heathrow expansion

planeVince Cable’s constituency of Twickenham is already under the Heathrow flightpath, and he is strongly opposed to any further expansion of the airport.

He writes:

The Davies Commission interim report has put Heathrow at the front of its thinking which is questionable economically, damaging environmentally and probably undeliverable politically.

My strong view is that the Davies review should not decide to press ahead with Heathrow options and I will be making that view known in the strongest terms.

I fully support the need to improve UK business links with airports in the emerging markets of Asia which is important for jobs, but this could be achieved more quickly by reforming and reallocating airport slots; by building up point to point services; and by strengthening the capacity of UK regional airports.

Such is the impact of noise on hundreds of thousands of people in London that pushing ahead with Heathrow expansion is almost certainly the worst option for expanding airport capacity.

There is a petition to sign as well.

* Mary Reid is the Tuesday Editor on Lib Dem Voice.

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6 Comments

  • Peter Hayes 17th Dec '13 - 6:28pm

    Even now the London airports are unusable for a lot of UK. I had the choice of Gatwick or Birmingham via Holland to go to my employers in America. No choice, several hours drive back home from Gatwick after a red eyes flight or home in no more that 90 minutes from Birmingham. I even had the option of killing time in an art gallery / museum extension in Schipol after having breakfast before the connecting flight.

  • Robson Brown 17th Dec '13 - 8:31pm

    If only Vince had been as enthusiastic in slamming the questionable economically, damaging environmentally and probably undeliverable Browne report a few years ago. Damn these experts and their inconveniently researched opinions.

  • For as long as I can remember Liberals and latterly Liberal Democrats have stuck to a sensible and logical opposition to the ever expanding Heathrow giant.
    But this is not just an issue for those of us who are in this part of London.
    If we are serious about improving life throughout the UK we should all be opposed to a further concentration of millions and millions of pounds of investment in the one part of the country where the economy has been overheated for decades.

    Leaving aside the planning, infrastructure, and general environmental madness of trying to squeeze yet more into Heathrow – it makes no sense whatsoever to expand in the one part of the country that does not need expansion.

  • peter tyzack 18th Dec '13 - 10:15am

    all the London airports could function as one if there was better connections between them. National Express coaches are pretty good, but a step change is needed from that .. instead of wasting money on runways they should construct a MagLev service between the airports.

  • Alex Macfie 18th Dec '13 - 1:31pm

    @peter tyzack: Of course your proposal would need either a new visa category for people in transit in the UK using different aiports, or some mechanism for keeping transit passengers ‘airside’ as they transit between the airports.

  • Thank God for some sense from Vince Cable here.

    The whole agenda is being pushed by a cabal of business interests that is determined to bulldoze Heathrow expansion through despite the disastrous effects it would have on the quality of life for millions of London residents across a large swathe of the capital.

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