Apart from the fact that Gatwick Airport is floating on a mega pool of oil (at Horse Hill 1.2 miles away) bold and visionary thinking is urgently required by the UK Government on airport expansion.
Before it’s too late.
London is one of the world’s greatest financial centres and it needs to stay that way, BREXIT or not. To keep this status, London needs a new airport.
Just think of the jobs. And the economic consequences for families the length and breadth of the land.
All those steel workers in Wales who have lost their jobs and all those BHS folk who may lose their jobs today, can get a real job that will build Britain’s future for the next century.
Spending public money on proper homegrown infrastructure is the way to do it. Not wasting the billions it throws away on foreign aid.
So, the FT is reporting this morning a miscalculation of the upgrade needed to road and rail links to Heathrow, if the so called third runway goes ahead. According to Transport for London the airport has got its sums wrong by £16Bn.
£16Bn! That’s some ‘miscalculation’. Who’s going to get fired for that one?
In addition to the cost of actually building the runway and terminals, the road, tube and rail links are going to need to be massively upgraded. I travel though Heathrow all the time, and it’s a shambles. 1970’s infrastructure trying to cope with the 21 Century.
And Gatwick Airport is even more of a shambles.
Only last week these three idiots were in court because they’d managed to blockade the main tunnel into Heathrow for four hours. If three hippy NIMBY protestors can bring the main airport of the number one capital in the world to a shuddering halt, I genuinely despair. It wouldn’t happen in Dubai, Hong Kong, or New York for that matter.
The whole new runway debate is a disgrace. It would be a disgrace for a second rate country. But London – you are supposed to be the global centre for finance, media, the gateway to 60 Million people in the UK, and an economic powerhouse for the world.
Last year the Airports Commission warned that if Britain didn’t sort out its aviation capacity it could cost the economy £45 Billion and 30 Million passengers.
So what did the government do after the Commission issued its report last year? It postponed the decision yet again, because it feared a hammering in next month’s local election. Meanwhile businesses are tearing their hair out.
But all this squabbling is pointless anyway.
I can’t see the Heathrow option, or Gatwick for that matter, flying anyway. There is too much political opposition. BOTH of London’s Mayoral candidates oppose the Heathrow third runway – Zac has called it “catastrophic” and Sadiq has called it ‘Madness.” Zac has even said he’ll quit if it goes ahead. And Boris is massively opposed.
Doesn’t sound too promising does it?
I still think the answer is staring people in the face.
The new Boris Island plan has 4 new runways. Not 2 like Gatwick or Heathrow. Everyone knows that if Heathrow gets a 3rd runway, it won’t be long before Gatwick gets a 3rd as well. And everyone on both side of of the Gatwick – Heathrow fight looks like a prat.
Boris’s proposed runway in the Thames Estuary – ‘Boris Island’ – has everything going for it. No suburban noise pollution upsetting the NIMBYS of Kew or Sussex. Decent space for transport links. And an untapped, underutilised area of London crying out for development. There are protected wildlife habitats but these can easily be protected, as they were with Heathrow.
I totally support protecting the bird habitat. It will cost a lot less than all these budget over runs. And a proper job can be done to protect a few winged critters.
The construction of Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok was completed in 1998 at a cost of more than $20bn. That seems like a bargain today with the reports of a £16Bn budget overrun for Heathrow and that hasn’t even started yet.
Just look at Crossrail. This is just the beginning of budget over runs.
The new Boris Island airport in the inner Thames Estuary would cost between £70bn and £90bn, Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the Airports Commission said, and would cost the taxpayer between £30bn-£60bn.
It would be a bargain compared to the Gatwick – Heathrow shambles.
At the moment Britain seems to have lost its gumption. But I don’t think this great country has given up just yet. It’s time for somebody with vision and balls to stand up and lead the country. Forget about petty politics. It’s time for Britain to sort out its economy, sort out its infrastructure, and sort out its place in the world.
It’s time to be great again people!