Thursday, 15 January 2009

That Heathrow decision

Speaking in his capacity as Labour Party Vice-Chairman Reading West MP Martin Salter stated that "Labour's environmental credentials are on the line" in the decision over Heathrow.

Yet it seems a middle way has been found by Transport minister Geoff Hoon, who thinks that a balance can be found between the environmental and economic concerns.

It appears that approval is set be given after the formal decision is made today at cabinet (the real decision already having been made, who knows when?) as limits on noise and air pollution are announced as a concession to the protesters (including limits on the type of aircraft able to use the new facilities).

Labour clearly has no problem with concreting over more green fields and is not worried about the ever-increasing congestion on the road and rails - for them this is a pure debate between the country's coffers and the changing climate (they're obviously not lobbying for support from the Campaign to Protect Rural England).

All other parties appear united in opposition to these plans and even the Conservatives have pledged to prevent the expansion of the airport if they win at the next General Election, as work on the new runway and terminal is not expected to be complete before 2019 at the earliest (given that sort of timescale, shouldn't the LibDems also be making a formal pledge?).

Update: the go-ahead has been given.

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