Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Heathrow disaster

The long dreaded report into airport expansion is out and it's as awful as was predicted. For the last 20 odd years everyone has thought that Heathrow would be expanded but at great political cost because it simply isn't popular. Cameron delayed a decision by commissioning this report making sure it would not be published until after the election.

Now it's published and now the trouble will get going again.

I am not a fan of Heathrow expansion. It highlights how worthless political promises are about not expanding, no night flights, lowering congestion and pollution etc. Heathrow is a planning mistake and sits in one of the worlds most congested areas, it is daft to expand it. Expand elsewhere like Gatwick or actually have some vision and go for a Boris island expansion or even go wild on the great northern hub of Manchester. But no Heathrow and it's noise and pollution degrades people's lives - so expand it.

Remember too that not many people fly often. About 15% of people fly more than once a year - the business traveller, second home owner and holiday lover. Surely there is a way to help meet their needs without destroying millions of People's quality of life.

Oddly enough the media seem to think it's Osbourne who is the biggest fan. How does expanding Heathrow help his northern hub plan? Doesn't it simply help London suck the life out of everywhere else?

Finally in all this media discussion two things are often overlooked. 1) there is plenty of spare capacity at Stansted, Gatwick and Luton so help them first with better links to the city. 2) Why is Heathrow a cargo hub and short haul hub? surely that is not necessary. They could be diverted elsewhere and the big money big business stuff could be concentrated at Heathrow.

Here is what Sam Coates of the Times makes of it.

More here from the Guardian.

Air Commission final report here.




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