Heathrow Airport: Liz Truss indicates support for expansion as MP warns new runway ‘disastrous’

Prime Minister Liz Truss has indicated her intention to back the controversial expansion plan for Heathrow Airport. Credit: PA

Liz Truss has indicated her support for Heathrow Airport expansion.

The Prime Minister said she agreed with comments made by Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan when challenged over the prospect of a third runway at the west London airport.

The Daily Telegraph reported Ms Trevelyan told a Conservative Party conference fringe event last week: “I’m a supporter [of Heathrow expansion].”

She added "aviation is a really important part of our growth", before discussing how expansion can benefit an area.

Heathrow expansion has been a controversial project for more than a decade, with a third runway previously estimated to cost £14 billion.

Plans to expand Heathrow Airport are controversial - with many challenging the decision Credit: PA

'Any expansion disastrous'

Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney told the Commons: "For my constituents in Richmond Park and communities across south-west London – from Wimbledon to Elmbridge – any expansion of Heathrow would be disastrous.

"A third runway would see over six million more tonnes of carbon pumped into the atmosphere every year and two million households affected by increased noise levels.

"Last week the Transport Secretary said she supported Heathrow expansion, the Prime Minister has previously stated she would support a fourth runway.

"So does the Prime Minister stand by her previous comments or will she rule out Government support for construction of a third runway at Heathrow?"

Ms Truss replied at Prime Minister’s Questions: "I absolutely agree with what the Transport Secretary said in her comments.

"What we need to do is make sure industries like the air industry become more environmentally-friendly. I support the development of low-carbon technology in those sectors, that’s the way we will help grow the economy but also serve the environment."

Former prime minister Boris Johnson, who is Tory MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, once declared that he would lie in front of the bulldozers to prevent expansion at Heathrow.

Paul McGuinness, chairman of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: "Whatever this new administration and Transport Secretary might say now, facts are likely to steer Government away from Heathrow expansion.

"After all, with forecasts that Heathrow expansion would lead to a loss of activity at regional airports, even embedded in the policy document originally supporting Heathrow’s growth, and the Climate Change Committee calculating that Heathrow expansion might require the closure of some regional airports, it is becoming clear that a national aviation strategy is required.

"Indeed, it is difficult to see how any responsible government would allow the interests of the regions to be so inadvertently overlooked by ploughing on with Heathrow regardless."

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