Chris Grayling says runway decision announcement “within weeks” – so maybe early September?
A decision on a new runway in the southeast could be made “within weeks” after the new transport secretary, Chris Grayling, who replaces Patrick McLoughlin, said the government had to “move rapidly” on the issue. Given the strength of feeling on the issue, it is unlikely that a decision will be taken during the parliamentary summer recess. MPs start their summer break on Thursday and return on September 5th. So a decision could be made between 5th and 15th September. Mr Grayling, interviewed yesterday on BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend, said: “I am very clear that I want to move rapidly with a decision on what happens on airport capacity. It is a decision that will be taken collectively by the government. “We have a quasi-judicial role so I’m not going to say today whether I prefer Gatwick or Heathrow … I’m going to look at this very carefully in the coming weeks.” He added: “What I’ll be saying to the business community today is I think we need to take a rapid decision to provide certainty on what’s going to happen and that will be my objective.” Patrick McLoughlin had said last month that a final decision was unlikely to be taken before October, but that was in the expectation of there being no new Prime Minister until September. Logically, it would take the new Transport Secretary many weeks to fully understand the brief, and the highlycomplex issues involved.
See articles in the Guardian
and the Times
that give the statement by Chris Grayling