Writing in today’s Evening Standard, Richmond Park candidate Zac Goldsmith criticises the "misguided" principle behind the proposed new runway at Heathrow:

  • "Why is the Government pushing ahead with a policy that is deeply unpopular with a large section of the capital and which conflicts with its own climate-change commitments? The answer must be that it has simply failed to do the calculations; that, or it has been bullied by vested interests."
  • "The Government’s ostensible fear is that if we don’t expand Heathrow, we will jeopardise the competitiveness of our aviation industry. But Heathrow is already the world’s busiest international airport, serving 17 per cent more passengers than its closest rival, Paris’ Charles de Gaulle, and 45% more than Amsterdam’s Schipol."
  • "The truth is Heathrow does not need to expand. It would do far better to focus on improving its existing capacity. For instance, does it need to encourage so many transfer flights? One in three people using Heathrow never even leave the airport and therefore add very little value to the UK economy."
  • "The principle underlying airport expansion – that we should predict growth and then simply provide enough  capacity to meet it – has been discredited for road building, and ultimately it will not survive for aviation. It is the politics of the magic porridge pot; a policy with no clear end, a non-solution."

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