Jeremy Corbyn backs further expansion (2nd runway?) for Birmingham Airport – as well connected to transport
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says Birmingham Airport should have a 2nd runway, as it “is uniquely well connected to transport” which may be better than any other UK airport. Jeremy made these remarks while backing the Labour candidate, Sion Simon, in the West Midlands Mayoral Election in May. Candidates in the battle to become West Midlands mayor have clashed over whether Birmingham Airport in Solihull should have a 2nd runway. Sion Simon says it should, while Conservative candidate Andy Street says there is no need for one. Jeremy Corbyn said Birmingham airport has “mainline rail within seconds of the airport terminal. And of course a huge motorway network around it. … Improving airport facilities in the Midlands and the North helps to increase usage of those airports and therefore reduces pressure on airports in the south east.” Mr Street argues there is no need for a 2nd runway and the airport can handle twice as many passengers even without a new runway (Birmingham had about 11.6 million passengers in 2016, while Gatwick managed 43 million, with one runway). More could be done with Birmingham airport to improve the quality of the routes and redevelop the airport to integrate it with HS2. Birmingham is better located geographically to be a major airport for the UK than London, which is too far south. A 3rd Heathrow runway would badly damage Birmingham airport, which is why they oppose it.
Jeremy Corbyn backs a second runway for Birmingham Airport
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says Birmingham Airport should have a second runway
BY JONATHAN WALKER
5 APR 2017
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has backed calls for a second runway at Birmingham Airport .
Candidates in the battle to become West Midlands mayor have clashed over whether Birmingham Airport in Solihull should have a second runway.
Labour candidate Sion Simon says it should, while Conservative candidate Andy Street says there is no need for one.
And Mr Corbyn, who is to visit the West Midlands to campaign for Mr Simon next week, has backed his candidate.
Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, he said: “What Sion’s doing is right.
“Birmingham Airport is uniquely well connected to transport, better than any other airport I think.
“It’s got mainline rail within seconds of the airport terminal. And of course a huge motorway network around it. And I think Sion is making a good point there.
“Improving airport facilities in the Midlands and the North helps to increase usage of those airports and therefore reduces pressure on airports in the south east.
“And I will be speaking to Sion about it when I meet him next week.”
Labour accuses Mr Street of failing to back the West Midlands, because he argues there is no need for a second runway at Birmingham Airport.
But Mr Street argues that the airport can handle twice as many passengers even without a new runway.
In an earlier statement, Mr Street said: “The issue of how best to support the growth of Birmingham Airport brings into focus the difference between the Mayoral candidates and their understanding of what is a really important issue.
“Whilst I will always continue to support the expansion of Birmingham Airport, there is absolutely no case for a second runway at this time.
“The current runway isn’t even at 50 per cent capacity.
“Make no mistake, we need to do more with the airport. We need to make much more of the capacity we have, improve the quality of the routes and redevelop the airport to integrate it with HS2.
“I am fully supportive of Solihull Council’s vision for the wider area and the thousands of jobs we can create if we get this right.
“That should be our focus, not spending tens of millions of pounds and wasting land necessary for employment and housing while putting residents through major disruption.
“This position is based on real facts and avoids the costly vanity project favoured by my opponents.”
Mr Simon argues that the new HS2 high speed rail line due to open in 2026 is an opportunity to ensure the West Midlands gets even more benefit from Birmingham Airport.
He said in a statement on his website: “High speed trains will run from Birmingham Airport putting it ‘closer to London’ in travel time than the ‘London airports’ of Stanstead and Luton.
“The West Midlands has the opportunity to host the first UK airport that is directly connected to high speed rail as well as traditional rail, road and tram networks. The resulting jobs and investment could be a real game-changer for us.”
And Mr Simon said: “Let me be clear: if I am elected West Midlands Mayor, I won’t accept no for an answer on expanding our airport. And that means nothing short of a commitment to a second runway.”
The position of the Labour party on Heathrow has been mixed. John McDonnell, in whose constituency Heathrow is located, and whose constituents would be evicted from their homes to make way for it, is totally opposed. Jeremy Corbyn has himself been opposed to the runway.
An article from October 2016:
Shadow minister says case for third runway is overwhelming as politicians from UK’s devolved assemblies say airport is their ‘gateway to world’
by Gwyn Topham (Guardian)
The swell of voices demanding an urgent decision on Heathrow’s third runway has been intensified by the Labour party, a cross-party group of politicians and Britain’s biggest trade union, as the pressure grows on Theresa May to approve the airport’s expansion.
Labour sources said the party would back a third runway, despite the reluctance of Jeremy Corbyn and the opposition of shadow chancellor John McDonnell, whose constituency borders the airport. In an article for the Guardian, the shadow transport secretary, Andy McDonald, said the “imperative was overwhelming” for more capacity and that “there would have to be overwhelming evidence that the Airport Commission’s report and conclusions were fundamentally flawed for parliament to depart from it”.
A Labour source said McDonald’s words were intended to back Heathrow’s expansion. “Until we see the detail we can’t commit unequivocally but on the assumption that they meet the tests we’ve been clear on, we will look to support.”
……….. and it continues. Full article at