Engineers have urged the government to make a quick decision on whether to build a new runway at Heathrow or at Gatwick – after speculation the call could be delayed by another six months.
The BBC this week reported that a new environmental review could be given the go-ahead by the Economic and Domestic Cabinet sub-committee on Thursday.
However, a Downing Street spokesperson told New Civil Engineer: “We have said we will come back to Parliament by the end of the year to provide a clear direction on the government’s plans – that remains the case.”
Engineering Employers Federation senior business environment policy advisor Chris Richards said that “ducking” the decision would be a blow for industry.
”It would mean that while the government may talk the talk about boosting Britain’s exports and productivity, it fails when it comes to making a firm decision and getting on with it. Delay and dithering is bad for business. I hope the government moves quickly to dismiss this speculation by sticking to its promise to make a clear decision before the end of this year.”
CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that a decision was “urgent not optional”.
Construction chiefs were among more than 250 business leaders to call this summer for an immediate decision to expand Heathrow airport.
In July, the Airports Commission recommended that the government approve a £17.6bn third runway scheme at Heathrow.