I opened up my email this morning to someone on Twitter telling me that although negative, a Transport Commission Report into the planned Heathrow Airport Expansion had some valid points to make.
Apart from the fact I have made no comment so far on this proposed expansion and could not quite work out why I had been mentioned in the tweet I decided to go through the report and, basically comment. Although my comments will probably not be considered worthwhile, here is what I think from my own personal point of view. The report which can be found at ow.ly/uoCX305vAzq :
We are entering a new era and this ongoing argument about an airport hub located in the most populous part of the UK is very old.
With regard to the findings I have a few objections and questions to what is being said:-
Originally research was carried out on statistics at that time prevalent into whether the hub could not be situated in another part of the country:-
a. In the recent conclusion on findings, has a re-assessment of the statistics used to frame the arguments been undertaken given that the world is a completely different place from what it was at the beginning of this undertaking. What about the savings in costs such as compensation if another route were to be followed? What benefit would not having a third runway at Heathrow have?
b. Why are we talking about one airport hub? I would imagine that you could spread the load and put more investment into more airports throughout the UK that would equal if not surpass the effectiveness of an extra single runway at Heathrow. You would also lessen noise, overcrowding and chemical pollution in the south-east.
c. Is Heathrow really the most ideally situated airport? Can you honestly say that long haul distances to certain destinations are not shorter from other airports? Could you not create regional hubs that catered for the countries nearest to that particular airport?
d. I understand that it is good that a large number of jobs are created. Why just in the south-east? Why can no-one else benefit from jobs coming in by spreading the load between regional airport hubs.
e. George Osborne’s promise was high speed rail links to the north of the country. There is a lot of inward investment into the North of England and Scotland because of the skills base. The high speed rail link did not happen, how do you propose that the North of England and Scotland reach potential targets in respect of investment and export trading if the transport links are not as good as they could be?
f. As I am a writer/editor and have learned to read the unintended communication in reports etc. I have found reading this report quite interesting. Reading between the lines, those writing the commission report are quite dis-enchanted by the whole process. There is nothing new in the arguments, no exciting ideas to take hold of and be enthusiastic about. The ideas are old. We do not occupy the early 1990s we live in 2016.
You know what, my view would be to create regional hubs. It would show the UK Government means business, that it sees that the whole is made up of the sum of all parts, not the blinkered one direction stubbornness of research geared up to go only for one prize above all others and communicate the research in such a way that, to me anyway, shows that they had to find in favour of Heathrow at all costs.