Assembly Member Condemns Davies Decision

Calling for government to pull plug on Davies Commission

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Richard Tracey

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The government-backed Airports Commission has quashed plans for a four-runway airport in the Thames Estuary, leaving Heathrow and Gatwick in a two-horse race to persuade the commission that they should be chosen for Britain’s next runway.

'Boris Island' - Picture: Foster and Partners 

Richard Tracey, GLA Conservative London Assembly Member for Merton & Wandsworth, has condemned the decision to reject plans for a hub airport in the Thames Estuary. Richard said:
“London needs a globally competitive hub airport. In ruling out the Thames Estuary plans, the Commission has just ruled out the only remaining option that fits the bill. In reality it is the Commission itself that should be scrapped. Building a new runway at Gatwick will simply just mean a bigger Gatwick."

He continued:
"A third runway at Heathrow would cause misery for millions of Londoners without solving the problem. The Davies Commission, with a budget of £20m, is heading down a blind alley, whilst wasting time and taxpayer cash. The Government must pull the plug and adopt the Mayor of London’s Estuary airport solution."

Meanwhile Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia is cautioning ministers against further expansion of Heathrow Airport warning it would “deal a devastating environmental blow to millions of Londoners”.

Councillor Govindia said:
”Millions of Londoners already suffer intolerable levels of noise pollution and disturbance from aircraft flying to and from Heathrow. Huge swathes of west and south west London, as well as parts of Berkshire are seriously affected now.

“Allowing a third and even possibly a fourth runway to be built at Heathrow would mean hundreds of thousands of additional flight to and from the airport every year. The extra noise this would create is simply unacceptable. Millions more people would find themselves living under a new Heathrow flightpath and suffering the problems this creates.

“If Heathrow had never been built no one would now be advocating it as a suitable site for a huge new airport. In our view it exceeded its limits a long time ago. It would be absolute folly to allow it to expand any further. “

Our opposition to a bigger Heathrow does not mean that we are against additional airport capacity in the south east. On the contrary we fully accept the economic case and agree that opening up additional air routes to other parts of the globe is good for growth and good for Britain’s economy. The issue for us is the absolute necessity of choosing the right location. If the Thames estuary option cannot proceed then allowing the expansion of Gatwick makes better sense than cramming ever more flights into Heathrow."

Whilst at Heathrow Airport, John Holland-Kaye the CEO for Heathrow welcomed the decision saying:
“We have always agreed with the Mayor that Britain needs a successful hub airport to compete in the global race for jobs and growth . Heathrow is now the only hub left in the race. We would like to work with the Mayor to deliver Heathrow expansion in a way that benefits the whole country while reducing noise impacts for local people compared to today.”

September 2, 2014