Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

After Half a Century, What's Another Year? COMMENTARY

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

After Half a Century, What's Another Year? COMMENTARY

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor

BUSINESSES who have waited 50 years for a new runway to serve the congested airways over London and the South-East can be forgiven for feeling furious. The same goes for those whose house moves are being blighted by the dread that their local airport will be expanded.

Yet again the Government is giving an impression that it is tiptoeing rather than striding towards what is clearly its favourite plan, a third runway at Heathrow.

The snail-paced new timetable for a Commons vote with a vague commitment to have it done in winter 2018 is as imprecise as David Cameron's pledge to have a Government decision in autumn last year and we know where that led. We are, of course, still waiting for a Government preference, now due some time next week.

However, the latest delay might not be as severe as it first seems. It all comes down to due process and the risk of a judicial review being successful if at any point the Government is seen to have failed to give people and Parliament a fair hearing before finalising the decision. …

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