Heathrow runway plan ditched

By politics.co.uk staff

Controversial plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport have been shelved.

The new government has dropped the scheme, which received the green light from former transport secretary Geoff Hoon in January 2009.

The decision to scrap the plan was set out in a joint policy document issued by the new coalition government, which said it would also refuse any additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted airports. Instead it will concentrate on developing high-speed rail links.

Heathrow operator BAA Aiports said today: “We will work with the new government to ensure that airport policy provides the strong international trading connections on which the UK’s jobs and future competitiveness depend.”

Residents and environmental groups have longed campaigned against the third runway plan.

Ben Stewart, from environment group Greenpeace, said: “A third runway at Heathrow was always a bizarre proposal that made no sense to anybody who understood the impact aviation has on our climate.”

But Dr Adam Marshall, from the British Chambers of Commerce, told the BBC the decision would damage London and the South East’s “attractiveness to investors with potential consequences for the UK economy as a whole”.