08 December 2015

Between a rock and a hard place

Despite years and years of commissions and reviews, the Prime Minister continues to dither over what to do about airport capacity in London and the South-East.  The BBC reports:
It looks like the major decision on whether to build a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick is going to be delayed for at least six months.
Senior sources very close to the process have told the BBC that there needs to be more "confidence building" about the environmental impact of a new runway at Heathrow, if the government backs it.
And that means yet another review.
And that expansion at Gatwick will not be ruled out.
One source told me that keeping both options on the table means that the airport operators can have their feet "held to the fire" over dealing with environmental concerns.
More likely that Cameron simply cannot make up his mind.  On the on hand, he would be seriously aggravating all those Tory voters, MPs and mayoral hopefuls living in the shadow of Heathrow (and going back on his promise that there would be no new Heathrow runway "no ifs or buts"), if he were to approve development at Heathrow.  On the other hand, to deny Heathrow a new runway would seriously offend the powerful business lobby and his Tory donor pals.

The path of least resistance?  Kick it into the long grass for another six months or so, at least until the London mayoral election is over.

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