Magazine article The Spectator

An Idea That Flies

Magazine article The Spectator

An Idea That Flies

Article excerpt

Last week, the Conservative backbencher runway at Heathrow. This week David Cameron gave his answer. He removed Justine Greening from her job as transport secretary, clearing the way for a U-turn by neutralising cabinet opposition to a third runway.

There is nothing brave, mighty or pragmatic about demolishing two villages in order to build a short extra runway at Heathrow. As Ms Greening argued on the Today programme last week, the runway would be too short to receive the jumbo jets from China which some lobbyists have claimed as justification for the project. Expanding Heathrow would be typical of the fudged quickfix which has characterised infrastructure development in Britain for 50 years. It is an approach which has given us, over and over again, inadequate roads to which extra lanes and proper flyovers must be added later - at far greater eventual cost than had the roads been built properly in the first place.

Heathrow, with its flight paths over London, is a rotten site. …

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