London First report wants 3rd Heathrow runway, and mixed mode on both its runways, as well as a new south east hub airport
London First, which calls themselves “an influential business membership organisation with the mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business” have today produced a report called “London, Britain and the world: Transport links for economic growth”. The report says that an expanded at Heathrow as the “only credible option” for the capital. It accuses the government of being unwilling to consider “politically difficult solutions”. London First believes the connectivity of London is key in its success, and that “congested roads, overcrowded trains and aircraft circling above the South East waiting for permission to land at Britain’s only hub airport, Heathrow, are all signs of our critical strategic transport infrastructure operating at its limits and lacking resilience when put under pressure.” They are calling for significant improvement in London’s connectivity, both with the rest of the UK and with emerging international markets. They want easier planning and suggest varioius recommendations “to deliver short, medium and long-term improvements to London’s road, rail and air links.” They are asking for an expanded Heathrow, flights landing and taking off on both Heathrow runways (mixed mode) and a new south east airport ……..
Ministers accused of ‘negligence’ for ruling out third Heathrow runway
Lobbying group representing many of capital’s biggest employers says expanded Heathrow is ‘only credible option’
by Gwyn Topham, transport correspondent
London First, a lobbying group representing many of the capital’s biggest employers in the City and beyond, has launched a report describing an expanded at Heathrow as the “only credible option” for the capital. It accuses the government of being unwilling to consider “politically difficult solutions”.
The third runway was explicitly ruled out in the coalition agreement. While BAA, the owner of Heathrow, together with airlines, businesses and unions have argued that expansion is necessary to preserve its status as an international hub airport, plans adopted by Gordon Brown’s Labour government were fought by the Tories in opposition.
The current transport secretary, Justine Greening, campaigned locally as MP for Putney against the proposals.
The criticism of the government comes in a report by London First’s Connectivity Commission, made up of senior business people including the managing directors of leading banks and retailers.
Peter Robinson, the chairman of commercial law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, who chaired the commission, said: “Significant improvement is needed in London’s connectivity to emerging international markets as well as to the rest of the UK – but this can be achieved if government grasps the severity of the problem. Government must prioritise investment in transport that contributes most to economic growth.”
Jo Valentine, the chief executive of London First, said the government urgently needed to get to grips with the pressures on transport – “particularly our vital air links”.
She said: “Rather than kicking politically difficult solutions into the long grass it should consider all options and look at what is best for the UK’s prosperity. It is negligent of government to continue to rule out a third runway at Heathrow when it should be looking at all options in its aviation review.”
The government is expected to lay out its plans for aviation in the spring, when it may call for more evidence on the need for expanded airport capacity in south-east England. The renewed calls for Heathrow expansion come after Boris Johnson claimed his proposals for a Thames Estuary airport were gaining traction in Downing Street ahead of the review.
Last month a group of 30 Conservative MPs backed a report calling to re-examine the case for a third runway.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “As the chancellor made clear in his autumn statement, we will explore all the options for maintaining the UK’s aviation hub status with the exception of a third runway at Heathrow.
London First is asking for (this really is rather remarkable …)
1. A third Heathrow runway soon
2. Mixed mode on both Heathrow runways now.
3. Easier planning regulations to get applications approved faster.
4. A new hub airport.
5. Public funding for a new airport.
Here is London First’s bit on the new hub airport they want:
iii. A new hub airport
A new hub airport could offer state of the art infrastructure in a location with world-class transport links and the scale to meet London’s needs against the most stretching forecasts of demand growth. Depending on its precise location, it also offers the potential to disperse local environmental impacts, such as noise, over a less populated area. Although there are no comprehensive, fully costed plans in place, the vision for a new hub airport represents the sort of long-term infrastructure planning that London will need if it is to remain competitive.
The Commission believes a new hub airport is likely to take at least twenty to thirty years to deliver and cannot therefore meet the urgent need for new hub capacity that London faces today. The critical constraint is that if it is to be built, even within twenty to thirty years, it will
require political leadership and consensus now: not just over its location but over the specific planning process and significant public investment required. And while a new hub airport may have merit, the cost of failing to address the need for new capacity in the short and medium term must be acknowledged, understood and factored into any assessment of it.
London First’s Connectivity Commission
Their website says:
London’s continued success as a leading centre for world trade and commerce is critically dependent on free-flowing, frequent and predictable travel to and from the capital. Demand for the rail, road and air transport infrastructure that links London to the rest of the UK and the wider world continues to rise, as it has for decades. Much of it is at or near capacity and in many cases is ageing, heavily congested and lacks resilience when put under pressure.
London First established an independent Commission in early 2011 to examine London’s transport links – rail, high speed rail, road and air – with the rest of the UK and wider world. It began with a public Call for Evidence – from businesses, user groups, experts, providers, Government and other key parties – which resulted in written evidence from 40 parties. It followed this by holding a set of witness hearings with 20 providers, experts and stakeholders. It also sought the views of a reference group comprised of practitioners and experts. Detailed discussions with over 70 London First members and stakeholders were held throughout the process.
The Commission’s report is the outcome of these deliberations and was published on 1 February 2012.
London, Britain and the world: Transport links for economic growth – full report (Feb 2012)
London, Britain and the world: Transport links for economic growth – executive summary (Feb 2012)
Government wrong to rule out growth at Heathrow – press release
The report makes a series of recommendations, for Government and others, to deliver improvements to London’s road, rail and air links to the UK and the wider world. It does so in recognition of current global economic uncertainties and the constraints on public spending, but with the conviction that further steps must be taken if London is to continue to thrive and grow for the benefit of the whole country. Congested roads, overcrowded trains and aircraft circling above the South East waiting for permission to land at Britain’s only hub airport, Heathrow, are all signs of our critical strategic transport infrastructure operating at its limits.
The Commission calls for, amongst other things:
• A national transport policy that consistently prioritises limited public resources to secure the best returns from investment in road, rail and air infrastructure on a ‘like-for-like’ basis
• A targeted roads policy to cut congestion on London’s strategic links to the rest of the UK – with expansion where merited by demand and congestion charging to ration scarce resource
• Continued vital investment in the rail network to relieve commuter overcrowding and meet growing demand – in lock-step with tangible progress on cost reductions, to relieve the unsustainable high annual fare increases currently in place
• The urgent delivery of new hub airport capacity in London and the South East in the short to medium term – the next fifteen years
Chair – Peter Robinson, Chairman, Berwin Leighton Paisner
Sir Adrian Montague, Chairman, 3i
John Vincent, Director of Strategic Planning and Advisory, AECOM
Chris Elliott, Managing Director, Barclays Infrastructure Funds
Peter Damesick, EMEA Chief Economist, CBRE Limited
Mike Redican, Managing Director, Deutsche Bank
Andy Street, Managing Director, John Lewis
Francis Salway, Group Chief Executive, Land Securities
Ruby Parmar, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers
The London First press release on 1.2.2012 says:
Government wrong to rule out growth at Heathrow
“Heathrow runway three is the most credible option to meet London’s urgent need for more international flights and Government is wrong to rule it out of its aviation review” – just one of the findings in a report launched today by a commission put together by business group, London First, to look at London’s transport links to the UK and the rest of the world.
Chaired by Peter Robinson, Chairman of Berwin Leighton Paisner, the year-long commission considered how best to maintain and improve London’s transport links with the UK and the rest of the world, to support future economic growth.
The report, London, Britain and the world: Transport links for economic growth, examines the capital’s road, rail and air links, and the results of decades of short term thinking and instability in transport policy – increasing costs on the railways, congested roads, and no credible aviation policy.
It makes a number of practical recommendations over the short medium and long term, including:
• Considering all options for increasing capacity at Heathrow, including a third runway and allowing planes to land and take-off concurrently on both runways.
• Considering all viable options for meeting the UK’s long-term need for further hub airport capacity, including a new airport.
• The development of a charging system to cut congestion on roads – particularly during peak times.
• Ending unsustainable fare rises by increasing efficiencies in the rail industry. Government must also reconsider the allocation of its subsidy to ensure public money is being spent on projects which give the best economic growth.
• A greater focus on the way road, rail and air infrastructure links together – so that passengers’ journeys can be improved when transferring from air to rail or road.
Peter Robinson, Chairman of the Connectivity Commission, said:
“Significant improvement is needed in London’s connectivity to emerging international markets as well as to the rest of the UK – but this can be achieved if Government grasps the severity of the problem. Government must prioritise investment in transport that contributes most to economic growth and look seriously at how we plan, finance and deliver the infrastructure we need.”
Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:
“Government needs urgently to get to grips with the growing pressures on our transport infrastructure – particularly our vital air links. Rather than kicking politically difficult solutions into the long grass it should consider all options and look at what is best for the UK’s prosperity. It could be viewed as negligent of Government to make such an important decision on purely political grounds. A third runway at Heathrow should be ruled back into the options.”
New report from HACAN claims poor environment, not lack of airport capacity, threatens London’s status as top city to do business
Date added: January 31, 2012
A new report produced by HACAN shows that though the excellent transport links to the rest of the world make it Europe’s premier business city, London fares less well on other issues which influence businesses in deciding where to locate. The annual survey by Cushman & Wakefield in 2011 “London is still ranked – by some distance from its closest competitors – as the leading city in which to do business.” However London performed badly in all the surveys on the quality of life it offered, scoring particularly poorly on air pollution and traffic congestion. HACAN says the message is clear. London has got to clean up its act if its wants remain the top city for business. London First’s Connectivity Commission is due tomorrow to release its report “the policy and investment required to secure London’s road, rail and air links, for the capital to remain globally competitive and support the UK’s long-term growth.”
Conservative MPs urge rethink on Heathrow 3rd runway and improved links with emerging economies
January 20, 2012 A group of 30 Conservative MPs, calling themselves the “Free Enterprise Group” have produced a report, which attempts to make the case for a 3rd Heathrow runway, and for new runways at Gatwick or Stansted. It presents no new research, and ignores the environmental impacts of their proposals, giving no thought to climate change, and very vague suggestions of payments of up to £40,000 per household near Heathrow as compensation. It makes out that Heathrow cannot produce enough flights to China. In practice, there were 606,800 passengers travelling between China and Heathrow in 2010, with another 1,386,770 travelling to Hong Kong. Heathrow flew 954,000 people to Miami last year (2011), compared to 311,000 to Beijing and 352,000 to Shanghai. It seems beach holidays are a greater priority to airlines than Chinese business. Click here to view full story…