Airport expansion delays in spite of business warnings

by William ASTON on July 13, 2012

Government ministers have delayed consultation on constructing a new ‘hub’ airport in spite of business leaders already warning that it is among the most pressing problems that Britain faces.

The Coalition government was finally set to begin an official consultation on the hub, which might be built in east London or a little further out of the city. Airlines had also been expected to use the consultation to push for the construction of a third runway at London Heathrow.

However, the consultation, ready for publication for four months now, won’t be published until this autumn at the earliest, which will push back any decisions made on a new hub until after the upcoming election. Senior Conservatives have already voiced their view that David Cameron has delayed the consultation in fear of provoking yet another rift with his Liberal Democrat counterpart Nick Clegg.
As is well known, the Lib Dems are against all further airport expansions. However, divisions are also present in the Tory Party, with numerous MPs opposing expansion while citing environmental concerns.

The delay will most likely fuel suspicions that several rows exist within the Coalition over issues such as Lords reform and are undermining any attempts to kick-start Britain’s flailing economy. The decision made to delay consultation will most likely  have dismayed Transport Justine Greening, with sources making the claim that she is “keen to get on with it”.

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