Third runway at Heathrow given the go-ahead
The government has today approved a third runway at Heathrow. The runway is forecast to add £147bn to the economy from now until 2050, which includes 75,000 jobs to be created in the immediate and surrounding areas by 2030. However, there are mixed opinions about the plans.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling called the decision “truly momentous” and said expansion would improve the UK’s connections with the rest of the world and support trade and jobs. Both unions and business groups welcomed the decision to expand Heathrow. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said it was “absolutely vital for Britain”, while CBI chief Paul Drechsler said it would create jobs and boost economic growth.
On the other side, Zac Goldsmith, the Tory MP for Richmond Park, called the Heathrow announcement “catastrophic” whilst Dan Lewis, senior adviser on infrastructure policy at the Institute of Directors, said: “Business will welcome the fact that the government has finally taken this necessary decision in the national interest, ending years of frustrating prevarication. The future success of the British economy will depend upon companies being able to continue and expand trade with the world, particularly beyond Europe.”
Many residents of the village Harmondsworth, which will be greatly affected, are worried about the decision. Lesley O’Brien who has lived there for 46 years said: “I’m very disappointed, and I feel betrayed, and also worried.”
Heathrow says it expects the new runway to be open in 2025 – with the planning process dealt with by 2020, then four years to build the runway itself and another year to attend to the surrounding infrastructure needed.
What do you think of the third runway at Heathrow? We would love to hear your opinions!