SPONSORED: We’ve seen the film about Heathrow expansion before and we know how it ends

While the airport expansion debate has rolled on for decades, what everyone can unite around is the fact that something needs to happen. Expanding Gatwick will provide the connectivity and capacity the UK needs, help the industry respond to change, and encourage competition, innovation, and growth.

Gatwick Sunset

Gatwick’s plan is flexible to serve all airline business models and will reflect changing business trends meaning it can deliver more passengers and more destinations, earlier. It can provide the economic boost the UK needs and will boost choice, and enhance competition at a fraction of the cost of expansion at Heathrow.

Economic growth should not be pursued at any cost, however, and ultimately any Government will have to decide on the balance between the environment and the economy. We’ve seen the film about Heathrow expansion before and we know how it ends – nothing happens.

Heathrow already generates more noise for more people than all the other major hub airports in Europe put together. While a lot of things can change in this debate, the one thing that cannot change is Heathrow’s location and it is becoming clear that Gatwick is the only option that should be pursued if something is to finally happen.


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  • Right. Can someone tell me why exactly there is so much advertising about the heathrow / gatwick epxansion?

    Am I buying it? Do I actually get a say in it? Is there going to be a referendum and no one has told me?
    Is advertising to the handful of people who get an opinion that matters on this really worth saturating the tube and now LDvoice with adverts?

    Help me out here.

  • David Evershed 30th Apr '15 - 11:43am

    Interesting to see Lib Dem Voice and Guido Fawkes web sites running the same article.

    Does this presage another coalition between Lib Dems and Conservatives?

  • @M

    As ever, the reason is cold hard cash – they are fighting a PR way to try and make sure, if there is expansion, they are the winners. Amazing just how often you see the adverts though, almost to the point of saturation and glazing over whenever I see one!

    In regard to LD Voice – if it helps pay to keep the site going, I am fine with it. They provide a great and valued service.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 30th Apr '15 - 12:44pm

    For the record, here’s our policy on sponsored posts:


    Here’s the principles we go by:

    First, many thanks to the hundreds of readers who took part in our survey for your feedback. Believe me, it has been very carefully considered.

    There always have been, and still are, different views on whether we should accept sponsored posts within Lib Dem Voice’s editorial team. It probably seems a minor matter to some readers, but there are important issues of principle at stake – our reputation, independence and integrity – and those are important given how much unpaid time each of our volunteer editors puts into the site. Those concerns have to be balanced against the reality that the site needs to pay its way.

    We have reached a collective decision as follows to accept sponsored posts, with the following conditions/caveats:

    – Posts will always be clearly labelled as ‘Sponsored posts’ to distinguish them from our standard content.
    – We will always allow comments (subject to our normal etiquette).
    – There will be a presumption in favour of accepting posts from charities/not-for-profits.
    – Posts from any other organisations will be judged on an individual basis and we’re very unlikely to accept them if they conflict with our liberal values.
    – We’ll keep this policy under continual review.

  • @Caron

    A very fair position – I hope my first came across as in the way intended, namely that of supporting the decision reached,

  • Also sponsored posts can be a good source for discussion, just now seems a bit pointless as everyone is a bit distracted by something.

  • I’m totally for sponsored posts. This issue especially is just confusing to me.

    I guess there is just such a gargantuan amount of money at stake that saturating Canary Wharf tube and other places is worth it if they get to the few people who can make a difference in the decision.

  • Gatwick would be a lot more obvious if it wasnt on the wrong side of London for most of the country, if travelling to it by rail was physically possible for flights at the start and end of every day, and if the M25 wasnt the biggest carpark in Europe.

  • Give the money involved, trends and history of Gatwick and Heathrow, it would not surprise me that the real battle isn’t expansion at Heathrow or Gatwick, but who gets to expand first.

  • Gatwick, obviously not.

    Expanding Gatwick might lead, not only to a living hell for people in and around Crawley and Horley, but to the Ceaucescuisation of Charlwood.

    Why should we tolerate the destruction of a beautiful village in an ancient Wealden landscape, with ancient fields, ancient hedges, ancient farmhouses, and an ancient village church? Charlwood is there, not just for the people who live in it, but for all of us. Why lose it?

    Free market fundamentalists tell us that when we object to developers doing what they like, not only are we interfering with the sacred law of the jungle, we are defying that most moral of imperatives, making the rich richer at the expense of the rest of us.

    Then we have the “social” developers, who denounce those with the temerity to complain about mini Pruitt-Igoes being slotted into the most inappropriate places as selfish, middle-class “nimbyists” who enjoy being beastly to the homeless.

    Highwaymen and airport bandits go one stage further. They appeal to the “national interest”. Covering the landscape in concrete is an economic necessity, and refusal to bow down to their insatiable greed risks jobs and living-standards. Airports and motorways are inevitable. All Canutist environmentalists can do is hold back the tide long enough to allow the Chinese and Indians to steal a march on us.

    Trouble is, we’ve been fed this line since 1967, when the first Stansted public inquiry was held. We got it again in 1972, when the Roskill Commission gave the go-ahead to concrete over part of the Vale of Aylesbury. And at every stage since. Our economy would sink in under a decade unless we had another airport, the concrete fetishists shrieked.

    If an airport absolutely has to be built somewhere, then I would suggest Thetford Forest, which is a collection of commercially valueless conifer plantations mixed in with MOD land. There is almost nothing there of historic or environmental significance that runways could not be designed around. A depressed region full of working-class Tories could be reinvigorated, and everyone would be happy. Even the manufacturers of concrete.

  • Toby Keynes 1st May '15 - 10:31am

    Heathrow is far too close to London, and contributes to air pollution affecting millions that is not only deeply unhealthy but also at levels well in excess of European limits. Because expanding Heathrow would inescapably increase that air pollution, it will inevitably run into major legal difficulties (and more delays).
    Gatwick expansion would not blight many residents’ lives, although there would be the usual destruction of countryside and homes. But it’s not easily accessible except from London and south of London, and the rail network serving it has no extra capacity.
    Boris Airport is not a credible option.
    Any airport expansion contributes to global warming – which is a massive negative for me – but greater use of existing runways at all points north of London (including Birmingham and Manchester) for international travel, allied to major expansion of our rail networks including HS2 and HS3, works far better for the great majority of the population who do not want to have to travel long distances to Gatwick or Heathrow before they have even started their journey proper.

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 1st May '15 - 11:57am

    Sorry, but the snail train from London to Gatwick deters many – try constructing a real express. Why not develop to the West of Heath Row? Or is that castle a problem?

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