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Reaction to Heathrow announcement

15 January 2009
Responding to the Government’s announcement today that it endorses the building of a third runway at Heathrow, the Campaign for Better Transport said that the decision was out of date and not economically sound.

Stephen Joseph, the group’s executive director, said:

"Across Europe, high-speed rail and telecommunications are replacing short-haul flying as the way to do business; why is Britain left in the sidings with overcrowded and overpriced trains while the Government chases transfer passengers whose only contribution to our economy is a coffee and a muffin from an airport café?"

"If Brown really wants to kick start the economy he should be investing in high-speed broadband, bringing down public transport fares and improving the railways, not pouring money into a white elephant like Heathrow," he added.

The group was not impressed with the Government’s nod towards improved rail links.

“Plans for better rail services should be instead of rather than as well as airport expansion. And those plans need to have budgets, timescales and a business case, not be vague promises.”