Tuesday, August 28, 2012

No Third Runway at Heathrow - for now anyway.

Just read Tim Yeo's article in the Telegraph today. Not impressed - not impressed at all. Just cannot believe a 'senior' colleague could write such a piece. Of course some of it made good sense, as you would expect - but that was only cover for provocative language.

Our last manifesto was absolutely clear - that's the manifesto that Tim and I and both coalition parties sought election on. We are not in favour of a 3rd runway at Heathrow - at least until we go to the people again. To simply our promise on its head before the next election would lead to major disillusionment amongst voters. I would be very disappointed indeed if such a change of policy were to happen before 2015.  I was also deeply disappointed by the turn of phrase used in the article. I accept that people who don't spend much time in the House of Commons cannot properly judge the qualities of the Prime Minister - but those of us who do know him to be a very able and strong leader.  He's certainly strong enough to stand up to pressure groups with an interest who are demanding this change of policy.

I should also add that I'm not convinced that major expansion at Heathrow is right in any case. Of course Tim Yeo makes excellent points about developing links to China and other rapidly developing economies - and its true that these would be best flying out of Heathrow. But its always seemed to me that capacity for these important developments could be increased by moving other business to Birmingham Airport. Not only would this ease much of the pressure on Heathrow but would spread some of the South East prosperity to the rest of the country. Be good news for North and Mid Wales as well.

But I do feel fortunate not to be involved in the decision making process about future airport capacity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why would developing links to China be best done through Heathrow? To flight vector to China from Heathrow is over the North Pole. Above...err....Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh. As a government minister he also supports HS2 to Birmingham International. Perhaps Tim Yeo's understanding of geography and his musings in the Telegraph is influenced by his seat on the board of Eurotunnel?