Monday 1st February for immediate use
Campaigners plaster Osborne’s constituency with no 3rd runway signs
Campaigners against Heathrow expansion today plastered George Osborne’s constituency with No Third Runway signs. They put up the signs in the main street of Knutsford in the heart of the constituency, including one outside Conservative Party headquarters in the town. The campaigners wanted to get across to the Chancellor, thought to back expansion at Heathrow, that a new runway would cost the taxpayer billions of pounds .
Peter Jones, one of the Londoners who went up to Knutsford, said, “We deliberately chose the day after people have had to get their tax returns in so as to emphaisise to George Osborne just how much public money will be needed to pay for the road and rail links for a third runway.”
The Airports Commission, which the Government set up to look at the need for new airports, put the cost at almost £6 billion. Transport for London has put it even higher. Heathrow has said it will pay no more than £1.1billion (1).
Jones said, “That leaves the taxpayer to find around £5 billion.”
Campaign group HACAN calculated that everybody in the country would each need to fork out £80 to pay for the road and rail links a third runway would need (2).
HACAN also unearthed evidence that £5bn could buy 83,000new social homes or 835,000 hip replacements (3).
HACAN Chair John Stewart, said, “The billions of pounds of Government money that would be needed for 3rd runway road and rail schemes might even make the Chancellor, George Osborne, think twice about backing it.”
Notes for Editors:
(1). Heathrow would pay for the runway itself but not all of the associated road and rail costs.
(2). If the cost is £5 billion and the UK population is 63,182,000 (2011 census), that’s £79 each.