Zac Goldsmith has strongly welcomed David Cameron’s critique of the government’s economic and environmental case for the expansion of Heathrow.
In a Parliamentary motion and in an article for the Evening Standard the Conservatives have said that the case for the expansion of Heathrow Airport has not been made and they have called on the Government to abandon its plans which would see an end to the runway alternation which gives our community much needed break from planes, and a third runway being built at Heathrow.
Shadow Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers called on the Government to look at alternatives such as greater use of high-speed rail links. By developing alternatives, she said “we could dispense with the need for hundreds of the flights now clogging up the airport.”
She added: “The Government is set on building a third runway regardless of whether key economic and environmental questions are answered. However, they have failed to make the case.”
She singled out the weaknesses in the government’s economic case for Heathrow expansion: “On page 55 of one of the annexes to the consultation document,” she said, “we find them casually admitting that they have failed to price in the carbon effects of surface access to the airport. And they have included, as an economic benefit, the forecast increase in Air Passenger Duty – despite the fact that much of this will be a transfer from UK citizens to the exchequer, and hence not a benefit for the economy as a whole.”
Zac Goldsmith said,
“The Conservative Party is likely to form the next government, so its strong position on Heathrow Expansion is really significant. All-day flights and Heathrow expansion pose a serious threat to local people – and to the wider environment.”
“The Conservatives have set four tests for Heathrow, and they have not been met. Nor has the government made an adequate economic case for expansion.”
“This is the best possible news for Richmond residents, but the fight must go on, and I will continue to campaign on the issue for as long as it takes.”
The Conservatives have also been applauded by HACAN’s John Stewart in a letter to David Cameron.
Zac Goldsmith is the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Richmond Park and North Kingston.