Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill says Heathrow has to pay for surface access work resulting from a 3rd runway
Adam Afriyie has reported that, in response to a question he asked the government’s aviation minister, Robert Goodwill, the Government ruled out spending public money for the related surface access costs of a Heathrow 3rd runway. If correct, this is a huge blow to Heathrow, as their surface access costs could be £5 billion just to tunnel the M25 and perhaps up to £10 -15 billion more, for other road and rail improvements, according to Transport for London. In response to the parliamentary question Robert Goodwill said: “In terms of surface access proposals, the Government has been clear that it expects the scheme promoter to meet the costs of any surface access proposals that are required as a direct result of airport expansion and from which they will directly benefit.” Adam Afriyie said: “It is welcome news that the Government has ruled out paying the costs of upgrading the railways and local roads or moving or tunnelling the M25. If Heathrow won’t pay and the Government won’t pay, then the 3rd runway is already dead in the water …It is quite right that the public should not be made to fork out up to £20 billion of subsidies to a private company which refuses to pay its own costs of expansion.” In July John Holland-Kaye said Heathrow would not pay.
Blow to Heathrow as Government rules out funding surface access costs
October 14, 2015
by Adam Afriyie (Adam’s website)
Today, the Government ruled out spending public money for the related costs of Heathrow’s third runway.
If correct, this is a huge blow to Heathrow whose so-called access costs were more than five times those of Gatwick’s proposal.
The surface access costs for Heathrow expansion are estimated at £5 billion by the Airports Commission, although Transport for London had put the predicted figure at £15-20 billion.
In response to a parliamentary question tabled by Conservative MP and prominent Third Runway opponent Adam Afriyie, Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said:
“In terms of surface access proposals, the Government has been clear that it expects the scheme promoter to meet the costs of any surface access proposals that are required as a direct result of airport expansion and from which they will directly benefit.”
Mr Afriyie commented on the announcement, saying:
“It is welcome news that the Government has ruled out paying the costs of upgrading the railways and local roads or moving or tunnelling the M25.
“If Heathrow won’t pay and the Government won’t pay, then the third runway is already dead in the water and it would be foolhardy for the Government to choose Heathrow expansion.
“It is quite right that the public should not be made to fork out up to 20 billion pounds’ of subsidies to a private company which refuses to pay its own costs of expansion.
“Heathrow’s proposals already fail on air quality targets, will impose noise pollution on far more people than any other airport in Europe and will not enable the UK to compete in the long term.
“Heathrow’s Third Runway is a sticking plaster to the UK’s aviation challenge. We need a strategic, long-term solution that will keep us at the forefront of world trade for decades to come. An offshore airport must be brought firmly back on the agenda.”
Heathrow boss rules out footing the £5 billion bill for road and rail works – wants taxpayer to pay
The Airports Commission left the matter of who would pay for the approximately £5 billion needed to tunnel a section of the M25, and other surface access improvements, vague. The assumption has been made that the taxpayer would have to fund this, though the Airports Commission suggested that Heathrow would be able to find the funding from its investors for this. Now the CEO of Heathrow has dismissed the suggestion that the airport foots the £5 billion bill for road and rail work if a 3rd runway is built. Huge motorway engineering would be needed, to have the runway going over the motorway. John Holland-Kaye has ruled out paying for the surface access work. Though the government funds road and rail improvements under normal circumstances, tunnelling the M25 and dealing with hugely increased road traffic using an airport 50% larger than at present are not normal circumstances. Especially in times of huge economic savings being necessary in public finances. The Commission’s final report said it considered the runway was commercially viable “without a requirement for direct government support. This remains the case even in a situation where the airport is required to fund 100% of the surface access costs.” This would be by Heathrow “raising both debt and equity finance. This finance is then serviced through subsequent revenues and refinancing by the airport operator.”
Full story at
Access to expanded Heathrow could cost £20 billion, TfL warns – maybe £15 billion more from the taxpayer than Commission estimate
Transport for London (TfL) has raised “serious concerns” about congestion and the costs of expansion at Heathrow just weeks before the Airports Commission’s final recommendation is due (end of June?). TFL Response to APPG on Surface Access Feb 2015 In response to questions by Zac Goldsmith, TfL said both Heathrow and Commission had “significantly underestimated” the challenge of improving transport access to the site, with the Airports Commission estimating £5 billion would be enough to make the improvements. TfL believes to provide an optimal level of service, the figure would be nearer to £20 billion, raising questions about who would pay the additional costs. TfL said population growth of 37% by 2050 has also not been taken into account, with regards to the increased pressure on London’s roads and public transport infrastructure, Zac said: “TfL is better placed than any other organisation to understand the effects Heathrow expansion will have on London’s transport network, and it is extraordinary therefore that the Commission never bothered to ask for its assessment. This raises serious questions about the thoroughness and reliability of the Commission’s work. If TfL is right, the taxpayer may end up having to cough up an additional £15 billion to help Heathrow secure its monopoly, in addition to all the associated problems of gridlock, noise and air pollution.”
Full story at:
Heathrow’s comment on this:
A spokesperson for Heathrow responded to City A.M. by saying the government had not ruled out funding the improvements for Heathrow, as there could be other beneficiaries of the expansion – the policy states that where a scheme has a wider range of beneficiaries, it will consider the need for additional funding on a case-by-case basis. “The Minister has simply confirmed what was already understood as government policy,” she said.