UK Prime Minister David Cameron has been openly criticised by a senior member of his own party, Tim Yeo MP, for ducking the London area runway shortage issue without offering any alternative.
Heathrow’s back, Mr Cameron, and it’s not going away again
By David Learmount on 28 August, 2012 in Uncategorised
This was bound to happen, and it has.
But although Yeo has challenged Cameron to show that he’s a “Man not a Mouse”, the Prime Minister will stay in his mouse-hole for the time being, protesting that he is seeking a “long term” solution.
While any solution needs to be right for the long term also, Mr Prime Minister, the issue of runway capacity in the UK south east has been neglected for so long that a solution is desperately needed for the short term.
If the short term is ignored, London and the UK will be much less prosperous in the long term because so much business is already being lost because of its relatively poor connections to the world’s growth economies. Relative, that is, to local alternatives like Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam.
Heathrow may be badly sited from the point of view of how many people live under its flight paths – far more than at Gatwick or Stansted.
But, because this subject has been ducked for so long, we are where we are, and the most effective short term solution – by far – is a third runway at Heathrow. The longer you stay in your mousehole, Mr Cameron, the more true that becomes.
Sorry to bore you with this, because I’ve predicted this inevitable policy u-turn before.
I agree Heathrow is not the ideal long-term solution and an alternative needs to be planned. But that will take forever, and meanwhile the short and medium term has to be dealt with.
A third Heathrow runway is the only answer in that time scale.
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