Londoners have backed Gatwick expansion over Heathrow for the fifth consecutive month, a new poll shows.
When given a straight choice about which airport should expand, 43% picked Gatwick over 36% for Heathrow, according to the latest YouGov survey of 1,041 Londoners commissioned by Gatwick.
London residents also picked Gatwick over Heathrow in several other key areas of the expansion debate including:
- Lowest cost to the taxpayer (34% choosing Gatwick against 21% for Heathrow),
- Deliverability (30% Gatwick, 23% Heathrow),
- Greater competition (38% Gatwick, 24% Heathrow)
- Local regeneration benefits (37% Gatwick, 27% Heathrow)
The poll also highlighted “noise and air quality for local residents” and “economic benefits” as the two most important issues for Londoners.
Londoners picking “air quality” as one of the most important issues is seen as significant following London mayor Boris Johnson announcing a “series of strong measures to tackle air quality”.
The poll results are included in a new document outlining the support for Gatwick from regional airports like Birmingham and Edinburgh; leading UK entrepreneurs; politicians and councils such as East Sussex, Croydon and Windsor & Maidenhead; City analysts and business groups.
Their support, on the eve of the ending of the Airport Commission’s public consultation on airport expansion, covers areas such as the deliverability of Gatwick's plans, the greater competition and lower fares it would create, and the improved connections it would deliver for the UK.
Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said: "This latest polling shows Londoners backing Gatwick over Heathrow once again and clearly shows they want a balance between the economy and environment that only Gatwick can deliver.
“Where Heathrow expansion means 130,000 more planes over central London and further breaches of air quality, Gatwick would have a fraction of the impact, delivering the economic benefits the UK needs at an environmental cost it can afford.
"We are also seeing support build throughout the UK across the public and politicians, regional airports, entrepreneurs and business groups.
“Heathrow have tried and failed for decades to expand yet in just over a year, huge momentum has gathered behind Gatwick's credible and compelling case for a new runway.”
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