UK Construction Media

Urgent and immediate decision needed on Heathrow expansion

News   •   Jul 25, 2016 14:46 BST

MPs have warned Theresa May that an urgent decision on airport expansion must be made to stop damage to economy.

A total of 36 Conservative MPs, and 5 MPs from other parties, have warned Theresa May that a decision to expand either Heathrow or Gatwick airport must be made urgently, or the UK economy would continue to suffer.

Both Heathrow and Gatwick are bidding for an extra runway to be built, while a Department for Transport spokesman said it was important to consider all evidence before making a decision.

The British Infrastructure Group (BIG) report says a lack of runway capacity at Heathrow is causing “substantial damage to the industry and as a whole.

“It erodes confidence in the government’s stated ambition of growing the economy and our international trade.”

The Commons group led by the Conservative MP Grant Shapps, says a decision should be made immediately, adding that it would show new Prime Minister Theresa May’s “mettle”.

As part of previous recommendations set out in July last year, the independent Airport Commission suggested a third runway for Heathrow, with an estimated cost of £18.6Bn. By December, the government had delayed its decision, due to concerns over noise, pollution and compensation.

The proposed runway would provide an additional 250,000 flights a year and 120,000 new jobs.

Last month, Gatwick said the UK’s Brexit vote showed it was “clearer than ever that only Gatwick can deliver the new runway Britain needs”.

The report says: “Only their expansion can address the coming ‘capacity crunch’ and deliver sustained growth, underlining the concepts of the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine and sharing the proceeds of growth across Britain.”

The Prime Minister said in 2009 that ‘we need a better Heathrow, not a bigger Heathrow’