Heathrow: Theresa May kicks the can down the road

Commenting on the news that MPs will not get a vote on Heathrow expansion until next year, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson Jenny Randerson said:

Theresa May has kicked the can down the road, but this doesn’t change the fact that she is set to break her party’s promise to people in West London.

The Liberal Democrats are the only real voice of opposition to Heathrow expansion.

We must fight against this reckless proposal that would be a disaster for our environment and for local people.

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11 Comments

  • Max Wilkinson 19th Oct '16 - 12:40pm

    Aside from ‘not Heathrow’ do we have a position on where we would support airport expansion?

  • Paul Kennedy 19th Oct '16 - 1:56pm

    Yes, our 2015 manifesto, on which there was a specific conference vote, said that we remain opposed to any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick and any new airport in the Thames Estuary [Boris Island], because of local issues of noise and air pollution.

    Essentially, this reflects the Lib Dems’ commitment to localism, the environment and rebalancing the UK economy away from the overheated SE to places with better access to the North and the Midlands, like Birmingham or Luton.

    We also said we would ensure no net increase in runways across the UK as a whole i.e. only build new runways if others close (some have).

    Compare the Conservatives’ NIMBY build-it-in-someone-else’s back yard approach: London Tories say expand Gatwick, Surrey/Sussex Tories say expand Heathrow.

  • Max Wilkinson 19th Oct '16 - 2:07pm

    I’m not sure the rationale for ‘not Heathrow but somewhere up North’ is a totally convincing environmental argument. It certainly isn’t when looking at the global perspective.

    But maybe I’m overthinking this.

  • I’m not sure the rationale for ‘not Heathrow but somewhere up North’ is a totally convincing environmental argument

    Well if you’re concerned about not increasing the number of flights then it makes sense to build the new runway somewhere nobody wants to go, as then nobody will want to fly to it.

    Whether doing so would help solve any of the problems, is quite another matter.

  • Sue Sutherland 19th Oct '16 - 2:38pm

    Theresa May seems to have a tendency to delay difficult decisions which could be of advantage to us, though she doesn’t seem to be ignoring them completely. Hinckley Point, Brexit and now Heathrow expansion. She may make mistakes when an urgent problem surfaces so we should be ready to take advantage of that.

  • ……………The prime minister revealed cabinet responsibility would be suspended for longstanding opponents of airport expansion in west London. This would allow Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, and Justine Greening, the education secretary, to carry on voicing dissent on behalf of their constituents…………..

    When in coalition weren’t we told that our leaders couldn’t voice dissent on policies that were contrary to our election promises because of ‘Cabinet Responsibility’…Isn’t it amazing what you can do if you try…

  • nigel hunter 19th Oct '16 - 10:07pm

    To me this is all London centric. London seems to have it all in the media. Surely today we need to expand airports in the rest of the country. Brexit or not the UK will have to stay in touch with the rest of the World for economic reasons be it tourism or other reasons. Is it still London exists and the rest of us do not?

  • Do you know where Luton is Paul? Totally pointless to expand it, unless by North, you mean North London.

  • Richard Underhill 19th Oct '16 - 11:39pm

    This issue came up I a job interview I did in 1967. We should be careful not to rush this decision. If Brexit causes a loss of GDP of even 4% the volume of flights might reduce.

  • Peter Davies 20th Oct '16 - 7:54am

    Physically Luton may not be far North of London but by car it can be a couple of hours closer to the North than Gatwick. By train on the other hand, the fastest route from the North is via Kings Cross to a station that is not close to the airport. Giving it better rail services (a new station and new routes mainly on existing lines) would be a relatively cheap way to utilise it better.

  • Max: as memorably noted in an episode of “What Became of the Likely Lads?”, Luton is not in the North. It was described as “not exactly the fun capital of the South”. No doubt unfair. It has the source of the River Lea (or Lee).

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