On last night's Channel 4 News MPs Ian Taylor and John Redwood questioned Tory opposition to a third runway for Heathrow. On ConservativeHome next week Shadow Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers will defend the policy and her plan for a £20bn high speed rail alternative. David Wilshire MP kicks off the debate today by arguing that anti-aviation policies will damage the economy, reduce choices and cost political support.
If I understand recent policy announcements correctly, we are now officially opposed to building any new airports or runways in the South East. The unelected few campaigning to stop us flying will be thrilled whilst the unconsulted many will suffer.
If we implement this policy and the threat to reverse any expansion decisions made before we become the government, we will do enormous damage to the British economy and destroy jobs. We will also make it ever more difficult for British people to travel conveniently and comfortably and ultimately cost ourselves electoral support.
As one of the airport’s MPs, I worry every time I hear someone say “Heathrow is a national disgrace” and I shake my head in disbelief when those who should know better say “we need to improve it not enlarge it”. The inescapable truth is that Heathrow is in trouble which cannot be cured without another runway.
The most frequent complaints about Heathrow involve cancellations, missed connections, delays and lost baggage – all caused at least in part by the fact that the two runways are 98% full.