28/Aug/2014 - Last News Update: 04:22

Boris Johnson vows to block third runway at Heathrow

Category: Politics

Published: 26th Mar 2012 12:12:16

London Mayor Boris Johnson has insisted he will not allow a third runway to be built at Heathrow airport, amid reports the idea could be back on the table.

The government has previously ruled out a third runway, but reports suggest Chancellor George Osborne is pushing for the idea to be reconsidered.

One possibility is said to be an expansion and incorporation of RAF Northolt, six miles from Heathrow.

A consultation on UK aviation is due to report back in the summer.

In his Budget speech last week, Mr Osborne said the government "must confront the lack of airport capacity in south-east England".

Earlier, Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK must "retain our status as a key global hub for air travel" and he was "not blind to the need to increase airport capacity, particularly in the south east".

One of the options being considered is a new airport in the Thames Estuary - Mr Johnson's preferred choice.

The government is right to look at all new solutions for extra aviation capacity except the third runway at Heathrow”

The London mayor - who is currently campaigning for re-election - said a third runway at Heathrow would be "an environmental disaster".

"It would mean a huge increase in planes over London, and intolerable traffic and fumes in the west of the city - and it will not be built as long as I am mayor of London," he said.

"That is why the government is right to look at all new solutions for extra aviation capacity except the third runway at Heathrow. I look forward to engaging with [Transport Secretary] Justine Greening's consultation this summer."

The Independent on Sunday reported that Mr Osborne introduced Heathrow as an option for airport expansion at a cabinet meeting earlier this month - prompting anger from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Ms Greening, whose Putney constituency is affected by aircraft noise.

The Free Enterprise Group of more than 30 Tory MPs has also called on the government to rethink its stance on Heathrow.

In a report earlier this year, they suggested compensating homeowners near the airport with up to £40,000, and also the idea of incorporating the runway at RAF Northolt and adapting it to take regular commercial aircraft.

They argued that other airports such as Amsterdam's Schiphol already use runways several miles from the control tower.

And earlier this month former Conservative environment minister - and chairman of the energy and climate change committee - Tim Yeo - also said the government should drop its opposition to a third runway at Heathrow.

He said new EU rules on aviation meant it would not lead to an increase in emissions.

The government could also choose to develop Gatwick, Stansted or Luton airports.

But when the coalition ruled out a third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow in May 2010, airport operator BAA also withdrew its plans for a second runway at Stansted, and any expansion of Gatwick before 2019 has also been ruled out.

A spokeswoman for Ken Livingstone, Labour candidate for London mayor, said: "Reports that Boris Johnson's Tory government are considering this show the Tory Mayor's claims to have successfully lobbied against the third runway are hollow and that people who voted Conservative on this basis have been betrayed."

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Boris Johnson vows to block third runway at Heathrow [Online] (Updated 26th Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1418777/Boris-Johnson-vows-to-block-third-runway-at-Heathrow [Accessed 28th Aug 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Qantas reports biggest ever loss of A$2.8bn for year

    Australia's national flag carrier Qantas has reported a net loss of A$2.8bn ($2.6bn; £1.57bn) for the year ending in June - its biggest ever financial loss.
  • White space between TV signals could save lives at sea

    The leftover white space between TV signals is raising the hope of saving lives at sea and proving broadband for remote communities.
  • Cops crewmember accidently killed by police during robbery

    A crew member on an US police reality TV show has been shot and killed after Nebraska police opened fire on a robbery suspect.
  • Ebola outbreak: US official says epidemic will worsen

    The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is going to get worse before it gets better, according to the top US public health official.
  • Bristol bus boycott marked with commemorative plaque

    A campaign which was key to gaining equality for Bristol's black and ethnic minorities is to be remembered with a new plaque.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com