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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Liberal Democrats oppose expansion of Heathrow

Despite a small blip when a Liberal Democrats spokeperson got above themselves, the party's response to Howard Davies' report on airport expansion has been fairly solidly dismissive of any plan to expand Heathrow.

In the Telegraph, Vince Cable sums up the views of many and party policy when he says that Heathrow cannot be expanded as it will allow London to become a "giant suction machine" draining the life out of the rest of the country. He told BBC Radio Four's Today programme that politicians had to make it "very clear" they would not make the "serious issue" of aircraft noise worse:

Mr Cable said: "What this report is doing – and it's actually a very well argued report as you'd expect from Howard Davies – we're trying to reconcile two different things; one is to try to ensure that from the economic interests of the country we have more connections to the big emerging markets, on the other hand we have hundreds of thousands of people in London living under the flight path with very serious issues of noise and all the parties have made it very clear we can't make that problem worse.

The business secretary added that the Government should consider making better use of small regional airports across the country rather than focusing on a large expansion to stop all business travel being London centric.

That is absolutely right and I am astonished that the report did not pick up on this. We really have to get this right and in my view, expanding capacity in the South East of England at the expense of the rest of the UK is not the way forward.

I concur that further expansion of Heathrow should not happen. It's not good for the folks who live//work around Heathrow to have yet more disruption, upheaval and noise.

I actually resent having to fly into Heathrow from Washington, DC (actually, Dulles is just across the border in Virginia) to get to Wales. It's JUST ANNOYING and adds hours to one's travel time.

And one is presented with an issue on landing: do I hire a car at the airport (and probably get scammed in the process) or get a train to Cardiff (via Paddington) and then get a taxi from Central Station in Cardiff to the nearest car hire shop - usually on Penarth or Newport Road.

OR do I sleep at a motel someplace and then hire a car???

If one could fly direct into Rhoose it would help to cut down on travel time and I could hire a car there.

But I have never managed to fly on a scheduled service from DC to Cardiff (likewise from Chicago to Cardiff - a BIG FLAT NO) - same for my mother who has to get a cab all the way to Heathrow from Cardiff. That costs a lot of $$$$ and is an inconvenience for the cabby too - it must be stressful on the driver.

Likewise my mum had to get a cab from Heathrow to Cardiff - to her former home in Splott, Cardiff.

It got to be so much bother I got her USC (US citizenship and incidentally access to the US doctor/hospital system where she got the surgery she so desperately needed on her spine).

USC all because the lady HATED such long cab rides - she is long retired and with her medical condition it was VERY hard on her.

About time regional airports got a look in and the best way for that happening is to move capacity from Heathrow to Cardiff et al.

If there is no expansion of capacity at Heathrow this can only bode well for Cardiff/Rhoose, and hopefully the economy of Wales.

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