It’s a new terminal at Heathrow

By | Category: Travel news
panoramic view of Heathrow

the site for the proposed new runway at Heathrow is at the top of the picture

The British government has decided that it will support the building of a third runway at Heathrow.

The other two options that were considered, extending a runway at Heathrow and adding a new runway at Gatwick were both rejected.

For those of you who think all is now done and dusted, think again. There will be a year of consultation and probably a lot of legal interventions before the project goes ahead. Then it will have to be built so passengers must accept that they will be able to use the new runway for a great many years.

At just after 1pm today, Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, spoke in the House of Commons on the government’s decision. His statement emphasised the need for more expansion almost as much time was given to noise and emissions pollution. The news about connectivity with the rest of the UK was an important point and the government says that it will insist on six more domestic routes into Heathrow above existing fourteen.  Just as importantly, Grayling siad that passengers and airlines shouldn’t have to bear the costs of the development and said that landing charges will be “close to current levels.” Over fifty MP’s wanted to speak and an hour after Chris Grayling sat down, many speakers were still waiting to have their say.

Will Gatwick now persist in deciding to go ahead with its thought on applying for a second runway? As of writing it has posted no comment on its website.

Whatever decision was to be made would have had an impact on transport infrastructure. The M25 will need management and possibly more lanes; there will need to be better public transport links with Surrey, East and West Sussex and Kent as it can take hours to reach Heathrow as there are no train links without having to travel via central London. The M4 is due for alterations but is unlikely to be sufficient to deal with a runway that could add tens of millions of passengers to the area.

In Churchill’s words, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

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