The proposed Estuary Airport….

January 20, 2012

I think that the idea of an Estuary Airport is well worth pursuing. For as long as I can remember there has been debate about the extension of Heathrow airport but popular consensus seems to have moved away from it. About a quarter of all homes affected by aircraft noise in Europe are close to Heathrow. Boris Johnson has taken a bold lead pressing the case for an Estuary solution.

Likewise, the prospect of extending Stansted Airport is not a suitable alternative either. No decisions have yet been taken about this project, but as the Chancellor made clear in his Autumn Statement, the Government will explore all the options for maintaining the UK’s aviation hub status with the exception of a third runway at Heathrow and, if found to be appropriate, an Estuary Airport is a much better solution to address the issue of extra flight traffic. I will certainly continue to fight against Stansted’s expansion.

It will be necessary to take into account the wildlife which currently lives in the estuary area, but as we have seen in Washington DC, wildlife can be successfully relocated.

In the meantime, the Government will consult on a sustainable framework for UK aviation this spring and alongside this it will publish a call for evidence on maintaining an effective UK hub airport. I would also like to see the economics effects of building the Estuary Airport modelled, because I believe it would be a big boost to the economy and jobs.

Today’s tube strike: not so bad for all?

November 3, 2010

Who could believe it that today would bring yet another tube strike? We have had three tube strikes in the last month and to my mind, those striking have achieved nothing bar cause a huge amount of disruption and inconvenience to commuters.

That said, I did rather enjoy my walk to Westminster and noted a certain degree of camaraderie amongst other walkers, especially on such a beautiful morning. Actually, walking to work can be quite liberating and by doing so I find I have the opportunity to arrive at work fully alert and ready for the day ahead. Interestingly enough I did note that in the absence of tube services, there were a significant number of people on Boris’s bikes. Once again the bike scheme is proving a popular alternative to travel round London and this morning was certainly no exception. So not only have the tube strikes encouraged walking to work, they have encouraged other forms of very positive exercise as well.

The tubes are scheduled to resume normal services from tomorrow morning and obviously I very much hope that they do. Equally I hope that today’s example will encourage many more to realise that there are also alternative forms of travel, two of which are very good for you!