I hope you are all impressed with my prescience in raising the important issue of transport connectivity in yesterday’s post.
All I can say today is hallelujah, praise the Lord, that we have finally finally FINALLY got the right result with the government announcement of the third runway at Heathrow. Only last night I was discussing this very issue, and I found myself very bleak. I was seriously despairing. I seriously thought that grown up politics might be in intensive care.
But what a great shot in the arm we have had on an overcast Tuesday! Today’s announcement will give tremendous cheer to anyone involved in building the UK’s economy, in whichever region they are working. Already there are calls (hats off to the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport for being first off the mark) for the provision of the additional runway at Heathrow to be made into a “win-win” situation for all parties. Certainly logistics and transport operators can now begin to plan long-term investments in more sustainable infrastructure, equipment and working practices. Good for the UK. Good for the Northern Gateway.
Now we need to seriously leverage this, and power ahead. A tap has been turned on and a torrent must be allowed to flow. As well as the new runway providing better connectivity from the regions to London and then to the world, we all need to work with the government and its National Infrastructure Commission to publish a draft infrastructure policy statement as soon as possible so that all the UK’s airports and the airlines which they serve can see a clear strategy ahead, the rail network (particularly HS2) is properly linked in, and we begin to make serious sense of our roads. And, most of all, so that local authorities and growth partnerships (just like the Northern Gateway) can plan properly for growth.
Dear old BoJo entrenches his position, as does Zac Goldsmith, who can no longer hold the government to ransom. Yesterday’s politicians. Let’s not give either of them a backward glance. I dread to think what will be the response of my neighbours in my leafy Chiswick street (their sense of entitlement generally knows no bounds) and my MP (the lovely Ruth Cadbury) but they’ll get over themselves. And for less advantaged people up the road in places like Heston there will be welcome additional opportunities created for employment, skills training, and education over a long-term period. And, you mark my words, you will now see the London Borough of Hounslow move decisively ahead and deliver tens of thousands of new homes in west London. All power to their elbows.
The whole of the UK should benefit from this decision. And EG readers should be at the forefront of ensuring that this is the case. This doesn’t quite make up for Brexit, but it is the very best news we have had in years.