New Report shows Heathrow expansion to cost the regions £43bn and thousands of jobs over decades
An important new report, Baggage Claim, has been published, by the No 3rd Runway Coalition, on the impact of the runway on the regions. It shows the Government’s own figures indicate that by 2050 the runway would divert 27,000 jobs – as well as GDP – from regions, into London and South East. This is the opposite of what the Government claims to be aiming for, to “level up” areas of the UK. The report finds that movement of jobs will impact on the national distribution of GDP; around £43 billion (net present value) would move out of the regions and into London and the South East, by 2050. The data is based on Government data secured by a number of FOI requests. Every region of the UK would lose out, with the greatest impact in the North West and West Midlands if expansion goes ahead. By 2050, the North West would lose up to £14bn in GDP growth and 15,000 jobs. Figures are available for each region. The impact would be to blight parts of the regions. The Coalition finds it incredible that the DfT has known about this, and the economic damage to the regions, but said nothing about it; details had to be extracted by FoI.
New Report shows Heathrow expansion to cost the regions £43bn
25th February 2020
No 3rd Runway Coalition
· Government figures show that 3rd runway will divert jobs and GDP from regions into London and South East
· Heathrow expansion does not fit with the Government’s “levelling-up” agenda
A new report by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) shows that Heathrow expansion will result in around 27,000 jobs relocating from the UK’s wider regions to London and the South East (1).
The movement of jobs will impact on the national distribution of GDP, around £43 billion (net present value) will move out of the regions and into London and the South East. The data is based on Government data secured by a number of FOI requests. (2)
Every region of the UK will lose out but the greatest impact will be felt in the North West and West Midlands if expansion goes ahead. By 2050:
- The North West will lose up to £14bn in GDP growth and 15,000 jobs
- The West Midlands over £18bn in GDP and 5,000 jobs.
The impact of expansion would also effectively transfer £3.3bn worth of emissions out of other regions and nations of the UK and into London between 2030 and 2050. This would place an even greater burden on the economies and people of the regions to decarbonise at an even faster rate than currently planned.
Paul McGuinness, Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said:
“We have long argued that Heathrow expansion will inflict blight to millions of people across London and the surrounding areas. We’ve also warned the regions of the UK not to be persuaded by promises of economic growth tomorrow that simply won’t be delivered.
“It is incredible that the Government figures in this report had to be obtained through FOI requests. They clearly demonstrate that Government has known that what little economic benefit is created by expansion will only benefit London and the South East. The fact that half the jobs lost are not directly associated with the aviation sector which indicates the wider negative impacts on regional economies.
“It’s now vital for Government comes clean to Parliament about the economic damage caused by expansion. They should withdraw the Airports National Policy Statement and reassess their airport capacity strategy for the whole country.”
Dr Alex Chapman, researcher at the New Economics Foundation, said:
“When the decision to approve Heathrow expansion went in front of parliament, MPs were given virtually no information on the distribution of costs and benefits across the UK’s wider regions. Our three Freedom of Information requests show that the Department for Transport could, and should, have given a far more detailed picture.
“We already know that expanding Heathrow throws fuel on the fires of the climate emergency. This new data shows it is also likely to drive regional inequality in the UK economy. Heathrow expansion moves jobs and productivity to London and the south-east and, in a carbon capped world, it also threatens our ability to deliver a just transition for workers. With the majority of workers in other carbon intensive sectors based outside London and the south-east, this represents a double blow to the regions.”
- The full report, Baggage Claim: The Regional Impact of Heathrow’s Third Runway is available here: https://533d67b8-cd8c-4b9c-be04-d9f1956466a9.filesusr.com/ugd/8b8ad1_4cd4c5871f1040dd8fe550d8f0884834.pdf
- The data underpinning the calculations is derived primarily from the Department for Transport’s 2017 Aviation Forecasts, and three FOIs (referenced: F0017657, P0017641, P0017549).
For more information contact:
- Rob Barnstone on 07806 947050 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Heathrow expansion will wreck Boris Johnson’s promises to ‘level up’ UK, economists warn
Third runway estimated to trigger £43bn GDP shift to London and southeast from poorer regions – ahead of crucial court ruling
Rob MerrickDeputy Political Editor @Rob_Merrick (Independent)
Heathrow expansion will wreck government promises to “level up” the UK, economists have warned – ahead of a crucial court ruling that could derail the controversial project.
The third runway will trigger a £43bn shift in the nation’s income to London and the southeast from other regions, with 27,000 jobs also relocating to those richer areas, their report estimates.
The worst-hit region would be the northwest – which could lose up to 15,000 jobs by 2050 – at a time when Boris Johnson has vowed to narrow the north-south divide, it says.
The study, by the New Economics Foundation (NEF), also concludes the third runway, approved by MPs in 2018, would see the UK pumping out an extra 4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Equivalent to around 100,000 jobs in manufacturing, this would also penalise other regions – which would be forced to cut output if the UK is to hit its net zero emissions commitment by 2050.
“We already know that expanding Heathrow throws fuel on the fires of the climate emergency,” said Dr Alex Chapman, an NEF researcher.
“This new data shows it is also likely to drive regional inequality in the UK economy – the very opposite of levelling up.”
The conclusions come ahead of a Court of Appeal ruling on Thursday on whether the approval of expansion was unlawful because ministers failed to properly consider the impact on the climate and the environment.
There is speculation that the prime minister – who once vowed to “lie down” in front of bulldozers to stop a third runway – could use a defeat to abandon Heathrow expansion altogether.
Mr Johnson has continued to suggest the project will be stopped by the courts, telling MPs this month: “I see no bulldozers at present and no immediate prospect of them arriving.”
He is known to rage at criticism that he fails to stick to his promises – and be conscious that diggers moving into Heathrow would be the ultimate symbol of a broken pledge.
The NEF says its analysis of the “Heathrow effect” is based on Department for Transport (DfT) modelling and data obtained from freedom of information requests.
It calculates that 17 million fewer passengers will be flying out of non-London airports by 2050 if the third runway is built.
Of the 27,000 jobs that could shift to London and the southeast, about half would not be directly associated with the aviation sector.
Paul McGuinness, chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, criticised the DfT for only releasing the data “grudgingly, long after parliament had voted on the issue”.
“Government needs to come clean about the economic damage that Heathrow expansion will inflict on regional opportunity,” he said.
Thursday’s court challenge, brought by London mayor Sadiq Khan, Friends of the Earth and others, argues Heathrow expansion fails to take into account the UK’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Ministers also failed to carry out a required strategic environmental assessment into the damage to local air quality, they will protest.
The Times (£)
Heathrow third runway ‘could cost 14,000 jobs in the West Midlands’
New study shows expanding Heathrow isn’t just bad for the environment – it would mean jobs move south
By Jonathan Walker, Political Editor (Birmingham Mail)
25 FEB 2020
The West Midlands could lose almost 14,000 jobs if a third runway at Heathrow goes ahead, according to new research.
It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be considering shelving plans to expand Heathrow.
A study by the New Economics Foundation found the West Midlands could lose £18bn out of its economy. The report also shows the expansion would introduce an additional 3 to 4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent into the UK economy, equivalent to 100,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector.
It examines the impact of expanding London’s largest airport t on the UK’s other regions and nations using a combination of official Department for Transport modelling and new data accessed via Freedom of Information requests. The report finds a significant ‘Heathrow effect’, which has the potential to inflict serious damage on economies outside of London and the south-east, and argues that the third runway extension should be cancelled.
On the economic impact on UK nations and regions the report finds:
By 2050 17 million fewer passengers will be departing from non-London airports compared to the forecasts without Heathrow expansion.
This could result in up to 27,000 jobs relocating from the UK’s wider regions to London and the south-east . The report estimates that around half of these are jobs not directly associated with the aviation sector.
The West Midlands is the second worst-hit region, potentially losing almost 2 million passengers and as many as 14,000 jobs.
The worst-hit region is likely to be north-west England which, according to the analysis, could lose 5 million passengers and as many as 15,000 jobs by 2050.
The report also warns that expanding Heathrow will damage the environment and would introduce an additional 3 to 4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) into the economy. This is equivalent to up to 100,000 jobs in manufacturing, or 50,000 jobs in transport and storage.
Dr Alex Chapman, Researcher at the New Economics Foundation, said: “When the decision to approve Heathrow expansion went in front of parliament, MPs were given virtually no information on the distribution of costs and benefits across the UK’s wider regions. Our three Freedom of Information requests show that the Department for Transport could, and should, have given a far more detailed picture.
“We already know that expanding Heathrow throws fuel on the fires of the climate emergency. This new data shows it is also likely to drive regional inequality in the UK economy – the opposite of levelling up. Heathrow expansion moves jobs and productivity to London and the south-east and, in a carbon capped world, it also threatens our ability to deliver a just transition for workers. With the majority of workers in other carbon intensive sectors based outside London and the south-east, this represents a double blow to the regions.”
While the previous Conservative government backed a third runway at Heathrow, Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, promised in 2015 to lie down in front of the bulldozers to stop it being built. It’s led to speculation that he could block a third runway, and asked about this in the House of Commons earlier this month he said: “I see no bulldozers at present, nor any prospect of them arriving.”
The decision to press ahead with the HS2 high speed rail line could allow further expansion at Birmingham Airport instead. The airport has already announced plans to invest £500 million to increase annual passenger numbers to 18 million by 2033, up from its current 13 million.