Today’s Government decision to name Heathrow as the preferred airport for expansion has been welcomed by Essex County Council.
A third runway at the West London airport is the most affordable and deliverable option. Now the Council is calling for the decision process to proceed at pace.
In the meantime, the Council believes Stansted Airport can help to alleviate capacity issues through natural growth using the current runway – offering the potential to create 10,000 jobs and serve an extra 20 million passengers a year.
Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Partnerships, said: “It is good news that Government has taken the decision that expansion at Heathrow is the best way forward. It really is the most viable option as well as the option business leaders have called for all along.
“What is needed now is swift action to ensure the UK can continue to lay claim to the world’s most successful airport and expansion plans can really take off.
“Increased airport capacity is vital to economic growth and this option will take more than a decade to complete. Investment in rail links to Stansted Airport could help drive natural growth and alleviate capacity issues in the short-term.”
Stansted, as one of two Essex airports, offers a short-term solution to ease capacity issues on London by utilising its existing runway to its full potential.
Recent moves to improve infrastructure around the airport will help support the airport’s growth. One good example of this is a £1.5 million funding boost secured by Essex County Council from the Department for Transport to help develop a new junction 7a on the M11 to ease traffic flow along this vital route. Another good example is calls from the West Anglia Task Force for investment to improve rail links between London and Stansted.