Chancellor pledges to build new runway

Chancellor pledges to build new runway

The strongest hint yet that the new Conservative government will take action on airport capacity has come from chancellor George Osborne.

He declared that a new runway would be built once the Airports Commission, headed by Sir Howard Davies, makes its recommendations – due this summer.

Osborne, in a keynote speech to the annual dinner of the Confederation of British Industry, highlighted the UK’s infrastructure as being “not nearly good enough”.

And he added that previous governments “ducked the difficult decisions”.

Osborne said in his speech last night: “In this Parliament we’re going to legislate for and start building the high speed rail links that other countries built decades ago.

“We’re going to ramp up investment in roads. Give Britain the fastest broadband and the most competitive telecoms.

“And when we get Howard Davies’ report on a new runway in the southeast, we’re going to take the decision and get it built.”

Heathrow and Gatwick have both been shortlisted for expansion by the Commission but Osborne is likely to face stiff opposition to any additional runways at Heathrow from certain other members of the Cabinet, including London mayor and newly elected MP Boris Johnson.

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