Liberal Democrats say no to new runways at London airports

September 23, 2012 7:41 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

The strategy reinforces the Liberal Democrats' opposition to new runways at London's airports. Key proposals include:

  • Pushing for better use of existing capacity in the South-East and at regional airports to meet short to medium-term demand
  • Firmly rejecting Boris Johnson's Thames Estuary airport
  • No new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted
  • An independent, evidence-based study to find a location for a hub airport or a suitable airport to expand into a hub for the long-term
  • No airport capacity expansion which could allow for aircraft movements above the carbon emissions cap set by the independent Committee on Climate Change

Commenting, Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Transport, Julian Huppert said:

"Britain has to get the right balance between our need for international connectivity, and the environmental threats we face. At the same time, we have to solve decades of bad planning, which has resulted in a quarter of all those in Europe who are affected by noise pollution living under the Heathrow flight-path.

"The motion which the Liberal Democrats have adopted today strikes the right balance for Britain. It puts a stop to expansion at Heathrow. It puts an end to the bonkers idea of Boris Island. And it says 'no' to a South-East obsessed aviation policy.

"Instead, for the short-term, we will make the best use of the capacity we have, and in the long-term we will work with the Government Commission to look for a new hub, but crucially one which will not allow for total capacity above climate change targets, and one which will not become a blight on local lives and local wildlife.

"The Liberal Democrats are the only party who have shown an unwavering commitment to our environment, and to local residents. Today, we have reaffirmed those commitments, and set out a sustainable path for future air travel."

Commenting further, Liberal Democrat Transport Minister, Norman Baker said:

"With this motion, the Lib Dems have sent a very clear message - we are pro economic growth, but we cannot, and will not walk away from our commitments to the environment.

"We said in our Manifesto that we are against the third runway. We said it again in the coalition agreement, and I said it again to conference today. There will be no third runway on our watch."