Go-ahead for third Heathrow runway

Discussion in 'Politics' started by dong20, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. dong20

    Gold Member

    Feb 17, 2006
    Likes Received:
    The grey country
    I'm familiar with the arguments on both sides of this issue - and I'm a frequent user of LHR myself, so well aware of its ample shortcomings.

    Go-ahead for third Heathrow runway

    "In an attempt to mollify opponents of expansion, Mr Hoon announced plans for improved rail links from Heathrow. He also said that planes using the new runway would have to meet strict noise and air pollution targets."

    Well, that's OK then ... hundreds become homeless and Jobless, but at least they can bask in the comforting knowledge that folk can get to the airport a fraction more quickly and the aircraft landing on their old houses and schools will be whisper quiet and not too smoky.

    Residents weep at runway decision

    "Ms Howard, who lives in the village with her husband, said she had been campaigning to save the village for months but feels her only option now is to emigrate.

    She added: "We have been here for 12 years and all of a sudden Gordon Brown wants to change our way of living. For me, the only option now is to leave the country, maybe for New Zealand or Canada."

    Pick a number, get in line.:cool:

    I knew this was coming, but today Geoff Hoon has once again so ably demonstrated in this decision (not least by his arrogant attitude toward taking it) that he is, and always has been, an ass.

    I was involved in the Manchester Airport second runway project some years back and that caused immense ructions in opposing camps. This will likely be worse.
  2. Jason

    Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2004
    Likes Received:
    A big problem is that there has not been a proper parliamentary debate on this (and a vote in parliament). One of the most controversial decisions has been taken behind closed doors, and without the public and media debate that would have informed public thinking. It seems to me that this aspect is clearly wrong.

    The issues are of course enormous. We need a cool assessment of what can and cannot be done by improved rail links.

    The issue of flying the short distance London to Manchester is frequently raised - in theory it should be practical to use rail. A few years ago I used the Manchester-London shuttle flights frequently, almost entirely through dissatisfaction with the rail service. Trains were very frequently disrupted (weekend engineering works being endemic), trains overcrowded and unpleasant, trains more expensive than the planes, stations both ends overcrowded and lacking in facilities. All these issues have solutions, without building another runway. UK domestic transport could be comfortable by train if the London connections could be sorted out.

    London hasn't gone down the Amsterdam route of one big airport - we have five (Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, City). Maybe Manston (Kent) and Southend (Essex) could be developed effectively as six and seven. The challenge is ground transport to link them all and London. At the moment getting between Heathrow and Gatwick is best done in a bus through the chronic traffic jams of the London orbital. Similarly Heathrow to Stansted and even Gatwick Stansted is best by bus on roads that are big traffic jams. Even a dedicated bus-way would do a lot.

    The idea of a brand new Thames Estuary airport is interesting.

    I don't know what is right or wrong, and it is possible that the right answer really is a third runway at Heathrow. But I'm disgusted that our government has not put it to a vote in parliament, giving the debate and the democratic mandate to the decision.
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