Favouring Gatwick

By | Category: Travel rumblings

A poll has shown that 63% of London councillors are in favour of expanding Gatwick rather than Heathrow. There is no similar poll asking Surrey or West Sussex councillors what their attitudes would be.

If the research was independently carried out by YouGov (the company named as conducting the survey on the Gatwick website) then their site would highlight the results. That it doesn’t suggests a private client commissioned it. Who could that be?

The research also suggests that the Brexit vote has made it even more important to make a decision although published interpretations of the research don’t suggest the reasoning behind that conclusion.

the south rreminal at Gatwick


YouGov’s research also monitored what Gatwick calls seven key indicators those being the following:

Negative impact on quality of life for local residents                                                                                                                                                                                                    Built at lowest cost to taxpayers                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Encouraging vigorous competition                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     How quickly a new runway could be delivered                                                                                                                                                                                                     Certainty the new runway can be delivered                                                                                                                                                                                                              Regeneration benefits to local area                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Economic benefits to UK

Only the last indicator was not favourable to Gatwick.

There are a few indicators not included in this research that Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport will be considering before deciding on whether Gatwick gets the go-ahead for expansion. The first is planning an interchange between Heathrow and Gatwick so that passengers can get from one to the other. The second is improving the exit/entrance to the M23 which gets very congested at peak times. Consideration should be given to the rail congestion that will occur by expanding the airport because the existing rail link is very busy as it is. How can Southern which has a monopoly on rail travel as it runs both the Gatwick Express and the commuter rail service deliver a decent service given its relationship with the unions? How can we trust the unions to make Gatwick function as the airport management plans?

Personally, I still see Gatwick getting the nod as I have mentioned before when I explained my reasoning which wasn’t so much based on economics as on political behaviour. Grayling, as I said will be the man to make the decision on Gatwick or Heathrow. I don’t believe that for a second. Theresa May, the cabinet and all Tory MP’s will be applying any influence they can. Announcing something the cabinet and the government might not want isn’t on the cards.

PS:  For all those readers living outside London and the south east of England who might wonder why this is such a big deal, its because London is to where. most people outside the UK want to fly. For example, if there was a demand for a New York -Newcastle flight it would have to be economically viable. That it isn’t was shown recently when United Airlines announced the cancellation of the service.  American Airlines also tried to make the service viable a few years ago and failed as well. 

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