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I have no doubt that London needs investment in Airport Infrastructure. Heathrow is a completely different matter.

When there are so many other alternatives, why the insistence on the world's worst airport.

As a Conservative, I am perfectly aware that we need to provide the infrastructure needed by our businesses. However we have to accept that the CBI, or any other business lobby is just one of many potentially interested parties. Politics is about sorting out competing priorities, not having favoured lobbys that make decisions for you.

In thought we had dealt with this subject some time ago. Heathrow is already a disaster for anyone living within 20 miles - I should know! A third runway and the dreadful Airtrack scheme would make life round here unbearable.

We don`t want it, don`t need it and can`t afford it,.

So how does the CBI respond to the claim about the polling. Does it dispute it, or ignore it?

As for a new runway, there is one obvious answer - Gatwick. Lift the planning freeze (legislation would take care of it if necessary) and invest there. Have a real rival to Heathrow and it will reduce congestion there as well as create a reason for BAA to run their airport as well as they can!

The mindset is too London orientated. What is needed is fast transport links between our major cities and their airports.

You can be 90pc sure these are businesspeople who want to curry favour with the incoming Conservative government

Why does everything have to be located in the South of England?

Even before the credit crunch some areas of Lancashire were in dire straits - goodness knows what they are like now. Common sense tells me that business in that area would welcome better infrastructure!

The airport has ruined the area around Heathrow - you just couldn't get any more if you tried. I find this asertion that business are in favour of expanding Heathrow unconvincing.

We have visited this topic before but I think it is worth discussing again in light of this article.
We should certainly not be unduly pressured by lobby groups - from whichever direction and I speak as someone who until not all that long ago was, frankly, ambivalent on the subject of Heathrow Expansion. I have been persuaded by the arguments against and Edward for once I agree completely with what you say.
I also find the safety argument a compelling one (although that takes us slightly off the thread). Every time I sit on an incoming aircraft and identify clearly the Church and houses at the end of my road I realise that it is only a matter of time before a terrible disaster befalls West London.

Thanks Sally. I believe I mentioned before that the Airtrack scheme, part and parcel of the third runway project, would close level crossings round here for up to 45 minutes every hour from 5 am to midnight. Bridges or tunnels have been ruled out. Everybody round here and our councils are dead against this crazy idea.

"We don`t want it,"

Perhaps

"don`t need it"

Nobody, not even Theresa Villiers, would suggest that we curently have sufficient airport capacity.

"and can`t afford it,."

Lucky we're not paying for it then.

This wouldn't be a problem if gatwick, stanstead and heathrow were merged into one airport linked by maglev.

PS How come we never acknowledge the conflict of interest in conhome writing about theresa villiers?

It is simply stupid to have such a major airport inside a heavily populated area. At the very least, the approaches should be compulsorily purchased and cleared of businesses and housing for up to 2 miles from either threshold.

It would probably be cheaper to build Boris island.

It is a technical question whether new capacity should be built at Heathrow, or other London airports, or as Boris suggests, by the Thames Estuary. But one thing I am certain of: we need new airport capacity for London if Britain is to thrive in the 21st Century. And we should be building now.

Thomas, re can`t afford it. Where would the money come from for the compulsory purchase of houses and businesses that would disappear to make room for the third runway? From "the government" - we taxpayers of course.

We should not be the party of big business but of free enterprise. The former has often opposed the latter.

" At the very least, the approaches should be compulsorily purchased and cleared of businesses and housing for up to 2 miles from either threshold."

Yes, but it needs more than two miles, airport approach significantly degrades the living environment at least 10-15 miles out. I know I used to live in Barnes, the Heathrow blight drove me out, you might say I am an environmental refugee.

It seems incredible to me that a commercial enterprise gets the right to deprive people of the enjoyment of their property rights. Would anybody else be allowed to pollute so widely and indiscriminately? Having lived in Barnes and seen and fought Heathrow's expansion I came to realise that the planning process was just a means for large commercial operation to annex my living environment and do it with out financial recompense for the damage they caused.

As a result of my experience in fighting Heathrow I came to the conclusion that Governments aren't to be trusted as far as you could spit. Minister will always get knobbled by a companies approaches (the first people to come calling on Prescott in 1997 were Egan and Ayling, they also came to the aid of Blair and his tent in Greenwich ) and planning process is only there to rubber stamp Government decisions. So I believe the only solution is to restore property rights to people, and if an airport wants to build a runway tell them to come to terms with the people whose lives they are going to blight, if people ask too much financial compensation, tough, tell the airport to go and build its runway somewhere else.


My MP Philip Hammond opposes the third runway and the Airtrack scheme. So do all the other MPs whose constituuencies are in areas affected except for Spelthorne`s David Wilshire who keeps rabbiting on about airport jobs.

"It seems incredible to me that a commercial enterprise gets the right to deprive people of the enjoyment of their property rights."

Agreed, compulsory purchase is not a tool of the free market but of government meddling.

I should add, that my comments about purchasing & clearing property near the runway thresholds were purely a suggestion to address the safety issues. That Boeing 777 that just landed short of the runway last year would have landed in houses if it had run out of power 10 seconds earlier

I do not think that the clearance scheme would be politically or financially possible, which is why I think that the Boris Island option is probably better.

It is interesting to see how this debate is shaping up. I thought Theresa Villiers was not only right but very brave to make a stand on opposing more expansion at Heathrow when the business community was so against her. Around the same time, I took part in a debate organised by the IEA on this issue and was part of the "no" team against more expansion. At the time we failed to get any support from the largely business-oriented audience. But things are changing, I believe, now that both Gatwick and Stansted airports have to be sold by BAA. There will be new competition for passengers. Already we have seen a proposal for a new runway at Gatwick. Mayor Boris Johnson is also examining the possibility of a new airport in the Thames estuary. It is crazy to continue to concentrate on expansion at Heathrow - the airport worst sited for any more growth, constrained as it is by its geography. Now we are starting to hear from new and highly significant voices in the business community who are making it clear that not everyone believes that the future of air travel lies only in expanding Heathrow. The CBI and other business organisations should stop pretending that business is unanimously behind the third runway at Heathrow.

Businesses should have no right to compulsory purchase, we are a party of enterprise not state corporatism. The lobbying by BAA and the CBI for R3 disgusts me, what right do they think they have to take people's homes and blight millions more. The health impact is huge - in Cheltenham I met a lady who had moved there because Heathrow pollution made her Ill. Then there is the safety issue, the security issue, and the overwhelming property rights issue!

The only answer is Boris Island!

My worry is that Labour have not built new airports, new nuclear power stations or new roads. We are going to have to put our foot down on these infrastructural issues as soon as we are elected.

Delighted some businessmen are arguing against the expansion of Heathrow. I hope they do the same for Stansted.
As regards public money being used to fund airport expansion I'm against a single penny being used. Airport expansion if it happens should be funded entirely by BAA and the airlines.

From the Daily Telegraph Business today:

A spokesman for BAA said. "We need a third runway to preserve the direct connections that make our companies globally successful".

So there you have it. All about BAA profits. Destroying hundreds of homes and causing even more congestion in the skies and on the roads around Heathrow. Little people don`t matter, if they get in the way, just bulldoze them.

"So there you have it. All about BAA profits. "

And BAA profits are all about a Spanish poperty developers, Ferrovial's, profits.

Gremlins at work. The posting at 15.36 was from me, not I matter.

Must have been my mistake. Sorry.

Not sure why 13 self-interested businesspeople saying they oppose the third runway are of greater significance than 100 companies which signed a similar letter in SUPPORT of the third runway just last autumn.

The person who has set up this campaign is a guy called Russell Chambers. He is privately advising Villiers on how to screw up the campaign to provide more runway capacity, not just at Heathrow but anywhere.

You might also wish to investigate the relationship between the Tories and the rail planners, Arup. They have 'embedded' their staff into the manifesto writing process. So when they tell us that high speed rail can solve all our problems, you have to ask what is in it for them. Answer: lots and lots of fees, partly paid for by the UK taxpayer. Its easily as seedy as the DfT - BAA relationship.

This is truly a 'minority report' from a slice of business who are unrepresentative of the real world.

Labour's decade has crippled the UK economy. They've failed to allow the private-sector to build roads. They've failed to allow the private-sector to build airports. They've failed to allow the private-sector to build [nuclear] power-stations. I can only hope that an incoming Conservative government will break the logjam. Hell, I've got 'RAF Lyneham' in my backyard: when this gets depurposed for military activities I'd love it to be repurposed as a global 24*7*375 air-freight hub!

No expansion of Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted. None. Simple. BAA and their various lobby group proxies should go and find another political party to moan at. I have the work based misfortune to fly regularly from the first two. While the buildings are simply toilets, and the attitude of "security" a disgrace, the planes are not overfilled and the available number of flights are perfectly adequate. Not once in ten years have I failed to get the flight to NYC, Philadelphia or Europe I wanted. It's all about BAA and their incessant desire to turn more and more of the south east into a carpark with attendant shopping malls. The last flight back from northern Italy I had the cabin to myself. Where is this supposed demand?

T.Matter " A spokesman for BAA said. "We need a third runway to preserve the direct connections that make our companies globally successful".So there you have it. All about BAA profits. Destroying hundreds of homes and causing even more congestion in the skies and on the roads around Heathrow. Little people don`t matter, if they get in the way, just bulldoze them"

Did you even read the very sentance you quoted. Companies is pural! It's obviously a reference to wider UK businesses, not just BAA. How selective do you people have to be. you can't even read plain English without seeing a sinister agenda in it.

RE Phil style`s comment. Yes I was aware that companies is plural, but saw through this as as a ploy to conceal they were acting in their own interests. What right have they to claim they were speaking for other businesses?

Suggest he looks at the later edition on this subject. There is widespread opposition to the third runway - yet another of Gordon Brown`s mistakes. I`m pretty suire it will never be built. Heathrow is a mess and we don`t want an even bigger one.

Incidentally, it was my posting, not from IMatter, don`t know how this mistsake arose. Could be gremlins in the system.

I notice that Oil is rising in price yet again. It is quite clear that the days of cheap Air travel are coming to an end. When the reality of Oils decline is factored in , can there be any justification for increasing capacity? I think not.

"The BNP is a left wing party." Hitler was a vegetarian! Socialism innit mate?

"Kinnock says Brown should'nt resign until he's won two general elections. He wasn't joking."

I do not think Kinnock even won an election in the UK so how come he's a eurolanderwhateverheis? Oh yes, he sold his whatever to the eurolanders. So what authority does the loser have? None! He's a sell-out, a nobody, a complete joke, and an irrelevance! People like him, with their high and mighty, I know better, I am the great I am, you plebs need to listen to me, attitude are the reason a change has happened in the UK. How is he a lord? I thought he was a commie? It just shows how politics really doesn't mean much to new labour.

A number of posters have already pointed out that the expansion of Heathrow reflects a very London centric approach to the issue. I agree. I was therefore excited to hear about the High Speed Rail policy to provide improved infrastructure to Birmingham and Manchester announced at the last conference. Combined with upgrading and expanding regional airports in Manchester and Liverpool this could have been the foundation for investment and regeneration. However, in the light of the inevitable austerity a Conservative government would face I am not sure if this investment is still feasible. I would like to see the two issues paired, it would give the sense of us having a strategy not just on transport but on redevelopment. Sadly, we haven't heard very much about HSR recently for the above reasons, does anyone know the status? Hopefully we will have further detail at conference this year.

London is of course a special case place, but we should learn to use our resources carefully. If much of the cheap flights where got rid we could run a very profitable shipment service with far less use of fuel.
The notion that plane flight is a good use of consumer’s monies doesn’t really add up to well. I think we have to get away from simplistic expansion. Better to transport fright than act as wet nurse to Spanish beaches. Our priority should be trading rather than such luxuries as Spanish holidays. I don’t want to poo poo peoples dreams but I see Luxuries becoming more expensive. If the people holiday at home the money stays in the national pot. We really do not need to burden further the people of the approaches with the noise. So I am with those who oppose the further expansion of Airports that are already overburdening our green and pleasant land.

The Airtrack scheme will cause considerable misery for Wokingham residents causing the three main level crossings to be close for around 40 mins in each hours. Traffic in Wokingham around the level crossings is already overly congested especially at peek hours. The whole scheme is madness and does not consider the local communities which it will burden. Airtrack need to find solutions to level crossing problems not just ignore them!

Calling on the Government to rethink its decision that they added that the business benefits of Heath-row expansion are unclear and unproven and that the alternatives have not been adequately explored.Thats true,the business is not up-to mark of potential.The perfect solutions should be given to solve the problem of government and regarding expansion issue.I want to know suggestion from others.

Where there is life, there is hope. I feel strongly that I can make it.

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