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Transport Secretary casts doubts on Heathrow Airport expansion
Transport Secretary casts doubts on Heathrow Airport expansion

Transport Secretary casts doubts on Heathrow Airport expansion

The new Transport Secretary has cast doubt on the Heathrow Airport expansion plans.

Grant Shapps was speaking on Sky News when he questioned whether or not the expansion to include a third runway “stacks up” financially.

He said that the Department for Transport (DfT) will take a “really close look” at plans to build the third runway.

The indecision regarding the Heathrow Airport expansion plans continue; this is despite the fact that MPs overwhelmingly voted in favour of the £14 billion plans last year when 415 voted for the project, and 119 voted against.

The Heathrow Airport expansion has caused resignations in the past, such as Zac Goldsmith – who ran as an independent MP for a short time – while Justine Greening and Greg rebelled against the Conservative Party line at the time – the latter left Cabinet to fully oppose the expansion.

Perhaps the most high profile critic has been the now Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who famously said he would “lie down in front of those bulldozers” to oppose the expansion.

In last year’s vote, he abstained and since becoming Prime Minister, has declined to clarify his position.

His Transport Secretary told Sky News that his view and that of Mr Johnson’s were the same.

In his interview, Mr Shapps hinted the project may be scrapped if the appropriate funding is not guaranteed.

He said: “Most people accept we need more south-east airport capacity, Parliament’s voted for Heathrow, but there are questions about whether the whole plan stacks up.

“This is privately funded. They’re going to need to make sure they bring in enough income to justify the billions of pounds being spent on it.

“That’s something that we’ll be taking a really, really close look at – I certainly will as the new Transport Secretary.”

Heathrow believe the expansion will add around £74 billion to the economy, creating tens of thousands of jobs in the process.

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