26 October 2016

Heathrow third runway

I must admit to having mixed feelings about a third runway at London Heathrow Airport.

The airport is overcrowded at present - there are generally queues to take off and land. Which of course means more fuel being burned and more noise. A third runway will help relieve that.

In addition it is a major infrastructure project of the sort that we need to stimulate our economy - especially since we voted to leave the EU. It may well boost trade, especially as it will allow for more business - and cargo - flights from other parts of the world.

Thirdly, the transport infrastructure is already there - Gatwick only has one rail line to London as opposed to the two at Heathrow.

That said, my concern remains over the environmental impact; reduction of CO2 emissions in general is needed to mitigate the impact of climate change. I would personally bar internal Great Britain flights from using Heathrow - that does not include Northern Ireland - and make them use other airports.

Better still, we need to encourage people to use rail internally over aviation - that means a string of projects to increase capacity and speed - including HS2, but also getting both the WCML and ECML up to running at 140 miles per hour.

Of course, we need to find a way to pay for all of that. I would personally suggest a 'giant Kickstarter'; people contribute towards it in return for shares in the profits, season tickets etc. Indeed, the original railways were built by selling shares.

I may well do a separate post on HS2 soon.

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