The cost of building a third runway at Heathrow Airport could be cut by £3bn, after it announced a revision of its expansion plans.
In an interview with The Times, the airport’s new chairman Lord Deighton said the new plans could speed up construction by a year and cut £2bn to £3bn off the cost of an expansion.
One of the ways it could do this is by scrapping plans for a 14-lane section of the M25 being routed via a 600m tunnel under the runway. It might now be re-routed around the airport or there may even be some form of bridge.
In addition, a transit rail system to ferry passengers around the terminal would not be expanded to the rest of the airport. The size of the terminals would also be reduced.
Commenting on the revised expansion plans, Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Leaving the EU means that it’s more essential than ever that we create trading links to the growing markets of the world and that Britain controls its own trade routes. Only expanding Heathrow, Britain’s biggest port, can do this. And it’s an urgent task if we are to action the prime minister’s vision of a strong and fair post-Brexit economy.
“We all need to play our part, and we need to get on with it. That’s why we are working to bring the benefits of Heathrow expansion quicker and cheaper, while delivering our environmental and local community commitments including jobs and apprenticeships.”