MP urges Government to implement Airports Commission recommendation
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert has urged the Government “not to run away” from the clear recommendation of the Airports Commission to expand Heathrow.
Speaking in the House of Commons last week, Mr Herbert called on Ministers to take the decision in the national interest, and warned against any attempt to sweep aside the recommendation for narrow political reasons.
Mr Herbert said: “The Commission’s report was clear that expanding Heathrow is the preferred option with the greatest overall benefit for the UK.
“There is no point in setting up an Airports Commission at vast cost to seek expert advice and to find the right solution, and then choosing to ignore its clear and unequivocal recommendation.
“The economic benefits alone identified by the Commission make a compelling argument with up to £147 billion economic benefit in the increase to GDP from choosing Heathrow, compared with just £89 billion of economic benefit from Gatwick.
“It is clear that Gatwick, for a whole host of reasons - from inadequate transport infrastructure to connectivity issues - would be a sub-optimal choice.
“There is a great risk to the international competitiveness of London if the Government proceeds with a solution that does not deliver a single hub airport.
“We just need to look around the world at cities such as New York and Tokyo that have two airports and lose out as a consequence to bigger, single hub airports such as Chicago and Seoul, which offer far more connectivity.
“We can’t afford to let this happen to London. The stakes are simply too high.
“We have seen too often in this country the cost of making short-term, short sighted infrastructure decisions.
“We cannot make the same mistake this time by ignoring the clear recommendation of the Airports Commission to expand Heathrow and develop a single-hub airport”.
Mr Herbert concluded by asserting that “the recommendation is unequivocal and the evidence is clear. The Government set up the report and now is not time to run away from it.”
1. To read Nick’s speech in the Airports Commission debate on 26 November see http://www.nickherbert.com/media_centre.php/783/airport-commission-final-report.
2. To read the Airports Commission debate in full see http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151126/debtext/151126-0003.htm#15112625000001.
3. To read the Airports Commission report, published July 25 2015, see https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/440316/airports-commission-final-report.pdf.