MP welcomes Transport Select Committee report rejecting Thames Estuary airport

010220133960Mark 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

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2 Comments

Filed under boris johnson, conservatives, estuary airport, Heathrow, hoo peninsula, isle of grain, Lord Foster, mark reckless, medway, medway council, No Estuary Airport, rochester, rochester and strood, strood, Thames Hub, transport

2 responses to “MP welcomes Transport Select Committee report rejecting Thames Estuary airport

  1. barry luxton

    ohh dear back to the same old doldrums then. No infrastructure desperately needed for the south east car park, relying on worn out, overheated heathrow. Crossing London to get to it is a nightmare in the worst polluted city and the no hope conservatives are backing more of the same. While other countries already have 4 runway hub airports the uk has nothing, well done to you guys you must be very proud of your not in my backyard success. You have failed the electorate.

  2. William Christie

    Why is closing Heathrow such a disaster? Imagine how many new houses, that London desperately needs, could be built on this land. It could be mixed use with offices, light industry etc… Many businesses would happily locate here, so close to London. Having squadrons of aircraft flying over London 24 / 7 is unacceptable. The highest risk is when an aircraft is landing or taking off. It is only a matter of time before an aircraft crashes in a highly populated area, as happened in Amsterdam a few years ago and almost happended when a 767 only just made the runway at LHR recently. This is short sighted and not a long term solution. Build a proper, fit for purpose airport in a lower populated area. An airport in the Thames Estuary might bring your constituents some more employment Mr Reckless!

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