RUNWAY DECISION: One runway not enough, says Chamber of Commerce

Photograph by Jeffrey Milstein
Photograph by Jeffrey Milstein
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The building of one new runway in the UK is not enough, according to the Sussex Chamber of Commerce.

While the organisation’s national partners greeted the approval of expansion at Heathrow with a heartfelt “it’s about time” things were not so jovial at the local level.

Chairman David Sheppard said: “The Sussex Chamber of Commerce, and many businesses in Sussex are disappointed the decision wasn’t made in favour of Gatwick with its clear economic benefits to the region.

“One new runway is not enough to give the UK the aviation capacity it requires to trade the world successfully.

“Airports like Gatwick, Birmingham, Stansted, and others with growth aspirations should also get the chance to expand and grow in the future.”

While expansion at Heathrow has received the governmental nod, a third consultation needs to be held and it could be more than a decade before the runway is built.

Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said of today’s announcement: “Put simply, it’s about time.

“Successive governments have prevaricated for far too long in the face of a blindingly obvious need for more runway capacity.

“Businesses will now want assurances that the final approval process for Heathrow’s new runway will be smooth and swift, so that construction can begin as soon as possible.

“Westminster must not underestimate the impact that further delays would have on business confidence.

“The time for playing politics with our national connectivity is over.

“Building this runway will not only boost business confidence, it will also help firms access export opportunities, and attract investment from both UK and overseas businesses.

“For business communities around the rest of the UK, connectivity into an expanded Heathrow is critical, even as regional airports develop their own links to overseas business destinations.

“This new runway must be viewed as much about connecting the regions and nations to the world as it is about capacity for London and the south east.

“While most business communities will celebrate Heathrow expansion, this cannot and must not be the only new runway to be built in Britain over the coming decades.”

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