A leading political opponent of expanding Heathrow has hit out at the possibility of a third runway being approved at the west London hub.
London mayor Boris Johnson, MP for Uxbridge, hit out at the Airports Commission’s backing for expansion at Heathrow which is now subject of a government decision by the end of the year.
Writing in The Telegraph, Johnson said it is “incredible that we might be on the verge of taking a shameful and above all short-termist decision” of where to put a new runway for the south-east of England.
“I have no idea what the government will decide in the next few weeks. But the pressure is obviously very great: to pick yet again the tired, failed solution that has been proposed and rejected for decades,” Johnson said.
“Virtually every day we hear from business leaders and MPs who demand that we implement what they take to be the conclusion of the Davies report, and go for a third runway at Heathrow.
“If the government wants to be long-termist it should go for the truly long- term solution, a four-runway hub, and the logical place is in the Thames estuary.
“The GDP growth unleashed would dwarf Heathrow, with 50% more routes overall, double the number of domestic routes, to say nothing of the huge scope for much-needed housing and regeneration.
“That is what the government should do – to stick with its principled stance, to keep its explicit manifesto promise.
“This is the time to ignore the pleas of the largely foreign owners of Heathrow, and to back a solution that is better for hundreds of thousands of local people, better for the economy, and better for British business as well.”
Johnson’s latest comments come after Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways owner International Airlines Group, also voiced his opposition to a third runway at Heathrow.
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