Zac Goldsmith, Tory MP for Richmond and probable Tory candidate to succeed Boris Johnson as Mayor for London has given his response to the Airports Commission report.
Mr Goldsmith was recently re-elected as the MP for Richmond with a huge majority. He is a very popular MP and will be increasingly influential as his political career continues.
David Cameron visited Richmond before becoming Prime Minister. At a public meeting in Richmond he said “The third runway at Heathrow is not going ahead, no ifs, no buts.”.
Editor: I was at the meeting and heard David Cameron give that promise.
Mr Goldsmith published the response on his website, zacgoldsmith.com. It reads:
Sir Howard Davies seems to have begun with a conclusion a few years ago, and spent £20m of public money justifying it.
Against all the available evidence, he is effectively proposing that we spend vast sums of taxpayer money subsidising the creation of a huge foreign-owned monopoly.
It is hugely disappointing that he has ignored the key evidence he received in the course of his work. On every level, Heathrow expansion is the wrong answer.
- It is already the biggest noise polluter in Europe, and an expanded Heathrow would affect over a million Londoners.
It is not possible to reconcile air quality targets with an expanded Heathrow.
TFL’s assessment that it would cost £17 billion to adapt our surface transport links to accommodate extra passengers blows apart the financial case.
And the economic case is undermined by the Airports Commission’s own data which shows that Heathrow expansion would greatly inhibit neighbouring airports and suffocate competition.
Sir Howard has addressed an aviation model that is becoming obsolete. Transfer traffic across Europe has been declining for years because of technology changes and the rise of low cost carriers, while point-to-point trips are increasing.
His is the telegram approach in a broadband age.
We need a super-competitive network, with our three main airports competing properly for customers. Above all that means investing in better surface links.
The Commission has now reported, and the Government must respond to it. It will surely conclude that Heathrow is expansion is neither legally nor politically deliverable. MPs, Council Leaders, residents across the giant flight path will come together in a campaign to make sure of that.