SPONSORED: Momentum is building behind Gatwick as the only deliverable choice for expansion

Momentum is gathering behind Gatwick’s case for airport expansion in the South East as the debate over where the UK’s next runway should be built reaches a crucial point.

M25

The Commission will have to consider a range of factors in making its final decision but the consultation document indicates why expansion at Gatwick best answers all the questions. It can give the country two world class airports.

The UK gets the economic benefit it needs at a fraction of the environmental impact of Heathrow today. It would mean competition and lower fares for passengers. Gatwick has a financing plan and a construction project that can be delivered without huge risk to the public purse.

As the Commission underlines Gatwick can actually be delivered by 2025. We have a safeguarded site with little risk and no complex construction across major motorways. Our new runway can be funded without a penny of taxpayers’ money at a time when there are a lot of other competing priorities for public funds.

After decades of indecision, the UK needs something to happen.

Terminal interior

www.gatwickobviously.com

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45 Comments

  • Conor McGovern 3rd Dec '14 - 8:31am

    Why did this get an article?

  • Its a sponsored article, they have paid for the LDV space.

    That’s not a bad thing, At least this time it is very clear this is a sponsored article so you can chose whether to read it or not.
    LDV does need to generate income to keep this site up and running and if that means sponsored articles now and then, so be it.

    My only request would be for LDV to use some of the revenue too make the site more user friendly, like adding editing posts functions

  • Site’s got to make money.

  • First off, the case for piling up ever more capacity in the immediate vicinity of London falls apart with the advent of high speed rail.

    Secondly, and more importantly, didn’t party conference vote against airport expansion, indeed *specifically* against expansion at Gatwick?

  • T-J: Good point. Is Birmingham airport at full capacity? I somehow doubt it yet it is more accessible for many in England. It is true that the motorway links can get overloaded, but this must be more true for the M25 if Gatwick or Heathrow are expanded.

  • Bleargh, if there really has to be more airport capacity then it needs to be somewhere that is actually sensibly accessible from the rest of the country other than London. Both Heathrow and Gatwick are a nightmare to get to thanks to the mess that is London and the M25. It simply isn’t good enough to have extra runways *south* of London.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 3rd Dec '14 - 10:14am

    Can I just remind everyone about this post explaining why we’d decided, based on readers’ feedback, to accept some sponsored posts?

    https://www.libdemvoice.org/sponsored-posts-editors-note-38084.html

    We’ve only done, I think, 3 in total in a year, so it’s not a huge amount and it helps keep the site running.

  • Caron

    We’ve only done, I think, 3 in total in a year, so it’s not a huge amount and it helps keep the site running.

    There’s two listed under the ‘sponsored post’ tag. Both of these are for airport expansion.

    Why have you only accepted sponsored posts arguing for airport expansion considering the vast range of advertised content across the web?

  • @g

    Maybe because the only people who have asked/are prepared to pay are in favour of airport expansion?

    Honestly. Think about things before you post!

  • Conor McGovern 3rd Dec '14 - 11:27am

    Was it not possible for LDV to get a difference sponsor? Serious question.

  • T-j

    ” didn’t party conference vote against airport expansion, indeed *specifically* against expansion at Gatwick?”

    Does that constitute a ban on independent websites administered by party members from discussing expansion?

    If you think an anti-airport case stacks up you shouldn’t be affraid of debate.

  • Conor McGovern

    “Was it not possible for LDV to get a difference sponsor? Serious question.”

    Why should it? Arguments should be addressed on their merits not on the basis of your dislike of the writer.

  • Forget about other sponsors: I have no idea who anyone would be thinking of. This is certainly a valid issue for discussion, but of course no one is obliged to participate.

    That is, perhaps, other than the sponsor. It would surely be more to the point if the sponsor engaged with the issues raised. How does this proposal fit in with other plans such as HS2? How can the impact on the M25 be sustainable?

    The claim seems to be that Gatwick is better than Heathrow, but should this be the question?

  • Psi, we had a debate. Repeatedly posing the same question over and over again until you get the answer you want isn’t debate, at best it is filibuster.

    But in any case, my expressing personal irritation with a thing does not constitute a ban on it. Thankfully.

  • The reality is that for many in the World’s business community, especially from India, China and Far East , they want quick and easy connection to London. Someone who flies for many hours and then is mucked around from the airport to the centre of London is not going to be in a good mood. Putting potential customers in a bad mood before a sales pitch is not a good idea. Heathrow appears full and Gatwick appears least worst option. The problem is that Heathrow should always have been built on the east of London, where land was cheaper and it was easier to expand.

    Britain is one the most densely populated countries in the World and building infrastructure in the wrong place is very difficult to correct.

  • Conor McGovern 3rd Dec '14 - 12:35pm

    @Psi – “Arguments should be addressed on their merits not on the basis of your dislike of the writer.”
    Of course they should, but I’m saying it would be nice if we could have a ‘sponsored article’ – i.e. page-long advert – from the other side of the argument.

  • No problem that the article’s here – as I’ve said before it’s hard enough to get people to contribute on a voluntary basis so getting people to pay for the privilege is a real bonus.

    But we do have a settled policy against (that may or may not survive coalition negotiations) and I’m heartened to see the emphasis on getting any airport growth directed away from London, to rebalance the economy. If all we get is global passengers transitting through London, that doesn’t add anything more to our economy if they never make it out of the transfer lounge.

  • Conor McGovern 3rd Dec '14 - 2:15pm

    ^Indeed. Regional airports and transport links in the Midlands and North of England would help more than expansion in London.

  • Charlie 3rd Dec ’14 – 12:11pm
    “Britain is one the most densely populated countries in the World ”

    Is it? Is it really. Which are the other five most densely populated countries in the world? Does Britain make it into the top five. Or is it somewhere in the top twenty?

    Can anyone point me to a list of “the most densely populated countries in the world” ?

  • According to this list Britain is way down at 51st in the list of most densely populated countries in the world.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_population_density

    Funny how people repeat this myth that Britain is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

    I suppose it shows how effective the the right-wing, anti-immigrant propaganda has been

  • “We have a safeguarded site with little risk and no complex construction across major motorways”

    I would be interested in knowing a little more, as to what exactly they mean by “a safeguarded site”, because I can find no reference to whether the land they are proposing to be used is actually owned by Gatwick airport, or they are hoping to put the council under duress to compulsory purchase…

  • Tsar Nicolas 3rd Dec '14 - 5:32pm

    There is one fundamental problem with any airport expansion, anywhere – the oil is running out and unlike, say, railways, no alternative to fuelling plane flight other than an oil-based substance has been found.

    Oil production has been basically on a plateau since 2005, nudged upward a bit by the inclusion of non-oil by products, but it is still stuck at a plateau. Fracking and new oil finds are not enough to make up for the decline of almost every oil province in the last ten years, and yet we are still talking of airport expansion.

  • John Tilley,

    London and the area about 1 hour from the centre is densely populated : other areas /conurbation are West Midlands, Liverpool Manchester to Leeds, Sunderland to Newcastle and Central Belt of Scotland. Airports need to serve densely populated areas, not in rural areas . London and the SE need more water but there is much opposition to new reservoirs.

  • Nonconformistradical 3rd Dec '14 - 7:00pm

    @JohnTilley
    “According to this list Britain is way down at 51st in the list of most densely populated countries in the world.”

    That’s a bit simplistic given the very uneven population distribution across the country. The tabe to which you refer shows the UK population density as 262/sq km but https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/England shows the population density in England as significantly greater at 407 /sq km – very similar to the Netherlands – and 82% of the total UK population is in England.

  • Lots of questions being asked and left unanswered buy the OP, I notice. What a surprise. Still. Their 30 pieces of silver as good as anyone else’s, I suppose.

  • Nonconformistradical 3rd Dec ’14 – 7:00pm

    Yes you are right, if Britain was England it would be a different country. But it is not is it?

    The fact is that Britain is way down at 51st in the list of most densely populated countries in the world.”

    But even if you chose just England it would be 40th in the list, so still nowhere near the most densely populated country in the world.

  • Eddie Sammon 3rd Dec '14 - 7:32pm

    I now support sponsored articles, but I wish the word “advertisement” was used instead of “sponsored”.

    Regards

  • Paul In Wokingham 3rd Dec '14 - 7:36pm

    People often observe that “England” is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. That is only true by excluding the rest of the UK and then by failing to allow similar sub-national egions to be used for comparison elsewhere. So England has a population density of 407/sq. km., but Holland (that portion of The Netherlands that includes the three largest Dutch cities but excludes the more rural parts of the country) has a density of about 1100/sq.km. Of course the population density of London is much higher – about 5,000/sq. km (which is virtually identical to that of Amsterdam).

    Perhaps when people say “England” they mean “London”. And when people hear “England” they think “The United Kingdom”.

    Anyway I think it’s great that LDV is picking up advertising. I saw a full page ad in tonight’s Standard for LHR expansion – including the quite mind boggling claim that extending the North runway so that it crosses the M25 could be done by sinking the M25 into a tunnel and that this could be achieved with just some overnight lane closures!

  • Toby Fenwick 4th Dec '14 - 8:01am

    I’m very relaxed about LDV’s stance on sponsored posts- it is clear and honest.

    However, I think our party policy on airports is hopeless, and that we’re heading for another tuition fees moment on airport capacity. And for what it is worth, I’d prefer a new hub north of London (ideally near Luton), but this isn’t on the table. Instead, we’ll end up with another runway at Gatwick and in time, one or two more at Heathrow. Building the HS2 loop to Heathrow and getting modal shift from domestic air to high speed rail is a vital element of this.

  • Alisdair McGregor 4th Dec '14 - 8:27am

    We’d be far better off with enhanced rail than further airport expansion.

  • Jenny Barnes 4th Dec '14 - 8:57am

    “the oil is running out” Yes it is, but aviation doesn’t actually use that much of global demand – it’s difficult to get definite figures but it’s around 2-4% . Heavy trucks use maybe 4 times that, so do light vehicles (cars, small vans). And air travel is the most efficient way of moving people long distances, so I would expect that aviation fuel will continue to get a high priority in the world oil supply. Car transport, for example, can be replaced to at least some extent by walking, cycling and public transport, to the benefit of all.
    In terms of policy, I would like to see a tax on aviation fuel, to address the CO2 emission externalities.
    Some short haul flights can be replaced with rail, but much over 1,000 miles it starts to get difficult.

  • Leekliberal 4th Dec '14 - 9:40am

    There’s lots of discussion about empowering the north and other regions of the UK and yet here we have this sterile debate between two London hub candidates! Gatwick has slow and expensive rail links and for the vast bulk of us it’s on the wrong side of London for access. HS2 has changed the debate making the capital city swiftly accessible from Birmingham Airport so let’s have a proper study on this option for the hub.

  • Toby Fenwick 4th Dec '14 - 9:59am

    Leekliberal,

    No matter about HS2 is, it will taken longer to get to London from BHX than either LGW or LHR. BHX has spare capacity for a reason, and the two big London airports do not.

    What does this tell us? Airports with high passenger demand are full, and those with less are not. Unless we’re proposing as a party that we should dictate which airlines fly where, then airlines will make value maximising decisions and concentrate on the most profitable routes.

    There are things that we can and should do. HS2 to Scotland ASAP and journey time reductions across the board will make domestic UK flights unattractive.

    We can (and should) actively penalise flights where the rail time (subsidised by us all) is under 3h 30mins with an APD of say £500; this will significantly reduce the demand to fly from London-MAN/Newcastle.

    We can (and should) auction slots at slot constrained airports (LHR & LGW to begin with).

    And finally, we shoild insist that in return for planning permission, a UK Sov Wealth Fund gets an equity share in the two airports to provide a share of the profits.

  • Leekliberal 4th Dec '14 - 10:40am

    Toby says ‘BHX has spare capacity for a reason, and the two big London airports do not. What does this tell us? Airports with high passenger demand are full, and those with less are not.’
    Surely on this point yours is a circular argument. I, like over 40 million others who don’ t live in the South East, are forced to use London Airports as we cannot get our long-haul flights from elsewhere as the hubs are there . Move the hub to Birmingham and it will thrive and London will be a less pressured place. It’s win win! Your other points are good ones though.

  • Toby Fenwick 4th Dec '14 - 4:41pm

    Leekliberal,

    The argument is hardly circular. Where there is demand, direct flights from non-London airports exist (eg EDI – NYC six times a week; GLA and Newcastle daily direct flights to Dubai). But the concentration of demand in the SE, and demand to come to London means that there are more to LHR/LGW.

    You talk of “moving the hub”, which leaves me somewhat confused. If the government were to purchase LHR and LGW and close it down having built a new airport somewhere else (I’d be very happy with either Kimpton or Cublington) then I could see how that could be done. But it would cost something like £15bn to buy LHR and £30bn to build the new airport and possibly £15bn for the infrastructure…. which simply isn’t going to happen. Is this what you’re proposing?

  • Leekliberal 4th Dec '14 - 6:39pm

    @Toby Fenwick – ‘But it would cost something like £15bn to buy LHR and £30bn to build the new airport and possibly £15bn for the infrastructure…. which simply isn’t going to happen. Is this what you’re proposing?’
    We don’t need to buy them we simply campaign for party policy which is for no airport expansion in the South East .

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 4th Dec '14 - 7:28pm

    I’ve never read such a non-article on LDVoice before – who is paying for this unsubstantiated polemic? If government is run by this kind of decision-making the government is moribund – as it says nothing we can add to the debate.

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 4th Dec '14 - 7:40pm

    For a start- can BA please deliver a good service so we can judge its potential in the future – the current service is dreadful – as I and 20 travellers found out yestweday – most of the service is provide by sib-contractors who answer to no=

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 4th Dec '14 - 7:45pm

    [cont] sub-contractors who answer to no-one apparently. I am currently writing a report on our beloved airways and they are very poor on delivery in London [sorry we still don’t have an edit option on LDV]

  • AdBlock is ace, right click on the listing and adjust to taste; should be able to instantly remove any future sponsored posts too.

    I find it hard to believe that people think sponsored posts are acceptable on a political website. To me it’s an instant credibility killer – who respects any medium funded by advertising someone else’s political views? A low-ebb for lobbying.

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