On Saturday I joined Conservative activists, councillors and community campaigners at our Strood market stall fighting proposals for an estuary airport.
Yesterday the Sunday Times emphasised the progress we have made against this ‘pie in the sky’ concept since the Treasury’s initially worrying 29/11/11 autumn statement.
From the moment I spoke with the Prime Minister immediately after that statement to our meeting last month and in ministerial discussions, as well as making the overall case against an estuary airport, I have pressed:
- for more time before the government paper so as to push it from March to beyond Boris’ election and allow time for others to put their case;
- against the government paper promoting a specific estuary airport option in the way the last government did with ‘Cliffe’; and
- for the government to consider BAA proposals for a third runway at Heathrow, just as it is allowing Boris to promote his, reminding them of my success in pushing judicial review of the last government’s refusal to consider a second runway at Gatwick.
Medway Council is now rightly arguing with the strong public affairs support I recommended that there are a large basket of options for greater runway capacity for the south-east, all of which make more sense economically and environmentally than a ‘pie in the sky’ estuary airport.
When the government produces its paper we must use it to kill off any estuary airport option once and for all in favour of options which make economic and environmental sense.