I am disappointed that the Government has made the decision to only expand Heathrow Airport.
In the interest of our country, I wanted to see an ambitious decision to allow both Heathrow and Gatwick to expand, which would have done more to relieve the capacity issues the country is suffering from and more to boost our post-Brexit economy.
Gatwick could be delivered in a quicker, cheaper and more environmentally friendly way than Heathrow. This would have allowed Heathrow the time to put in place stronger measures to mitigate the noise and air quality deficits of a third runway. I am not convinced this can be achieved quickly.
I have consistently expressed concerns about an expansion plan that only involved Heathrow. I am concerned that Heathrow has failed to spell out new flight paths and how that will affect Wimbledon. I will continue to press Heathrow to spell out the impact on Wimbledon and oppose expansion if this affect us negatively.
Today I asked the Secretary of State for Transport how Heathrow expansion will be funded and how much taxpayers money will it require. The Government’s press release states “expansion costs will be paid for by the private sector, not by the taxpayer”, but industry experts have estimated 11.5bn of taxpayer support being needed. Unfortunately I was not given a clear answer – you can watch my question here.