Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Airport Expansion Issue Is Sidelined by 'Lack of Leadership' A

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Airport Expansion Issue Is Sidelined by 'Lack of Leadership' A

Article excerpt

Byline: Graeme Whitfield Business editor graeme.whitfield@ncjmedia.co.uk

NORTH East business leaders have accused the Government of "a complete lack of leadership" after it was announced a decision on expanding Heathrow Airport will be deferred until there is a new Conservative leader.

David Cameron had been expected to confirm whether a project at Heathrow or Gatwick would get the go-ahead in the coming weeks, with most North East leaders favouring Heathrow because of the vital links it provides between the region and the wider world.

But Mr Cameron's resignation following the Brexit vote means the decision will not be made until the autumn.

Backers of the Heathrow bid would have been boosted, however, by the surprise decision of Boris Johnson - a fierce opponent of Heathrow expansion - to pull out of the race to become the next Tory leader.

They say a third runway at Heathrow would create more than 5,000 jobs in the North East and boost the regional economy by PS4bn.

Many people also feel that the need for a decision on airport expansion is more vital than ever after last week's decision for the UK to leave the EU.

Ross Smith, director of policy at the North East England Chamber of Commerce, said: "This can has been kicked down the road over and over again, and it represents a complete lack of leadership by the Government on this crucial issue for businesses.

"I firmly believe that Government will ultimately agree to expand Heathrow because it is the only logical decision - the question is how much UK competitiveness will be damaged by the repeated delays in reaching that point.

"North East exporters play a vital role in the national economy.

They need access to global markets and that has to come in large part via the UK's hub airport.

"One thing we hope to see after the decision to leave the EU is the strengthening of trade links right around the globe. Businesses can only benefit from that if they can actually get there."

Graeme Mason, planning and corporate affairs director at Newcastle Airport, said: "We are disappointed but not surprised that there has been a further delay to this important decision. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.