Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood, has welcomed the decision by the Transport Select Committee to reject proposals to build a new hub airport in or around the Thames Estuary.
Responding to the news, Mark Reckless said:
“The Mayor of London and Foster & Partners are not the first the first to suggest building an airport in the Thames Estuary. The last Government did that with Cliffe airport. That was ruled out, not least on grounds of cost, and these latest reheated proposals lack feasibility just as their predecessors did.
Despite Boris’s gung-ho attitude, support for a Thames Estuary airport remains extremely limited. This substantive report by the Transport Select Committee, which drives a coach and horses through the proposals, follows hot on the heels of the London Assembly’s findings that a Thames Estuary airport is not a viable option.
By advocating the Thames Estuary airport Boris wanted to take the focus off Heathrow expansion, but by backing such an ill-advised, economically and environmentally unfeasible scheme he only succeeded in putting the focus back on Heathrow, although other options may make more sense.
I welcome the decision by the Transport Select Committee to reject a new hub airport in or around the Thames Estuary. It is a huge boost for the thousands of residents across Medway, particularly those living on the Hoo Peninsula, who are opposed to such proposals. However, it is important that we stay focused on our ultimate goal of seeing off these pie in the sky plans once and for all.”
Cllr Rodney Chambers, Leader of Medway Council, added:
“We welcome the news that, after months of detailed and rigorous study – which included commissioning research from independent aviation experts – the House of Commons Transport Select Committee has firmly rejected plans for a Thames Estuary airport.
This confirms what we’ve always known, and have campaigned loudly about – that the Thames Estuary airport is a non-starter.
The committee’s report says a Thames Estuary airport wouldn’t work because of the phenomenal cost to the public purse of building the transport infrastructure needed to get to it, as well as the devastating effect it would have on wildlife in the estuary – an area of international importance used by more than 300,000 migrating birds annually.
Medway Council, and its campaign partners have been saying exactly this as well as a number of other reasons why there should not be a Thames Estuary airport since the pie in the sky scheme was first put forward by the Mayor of London in 2008.”
Launching the report of an inquiry which examined the UK Government’s Aviation Strategy, Louise Ellman, Chair of the House of Commons’ Transport Committee said:
“We looked closely at the three main options by which the UK could increase its hub airport capacity. Research we commissioned made plain that building an entirely new hub airport east of London could not be done without huge public investment in new ground transport infrastructure. Evidence to our inquiry also showed a substantial potential impact on wildlife habitat in the Thames estuary.
The viability of an estuary hub airport would also require the closure of Heathrow – a course of action that would have unacceptable consequences for individuals, businesses in the vicinity of the existing airport and the local economy.”
Download the full report – Click Here