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Pie in the sky


The news article on the air transport progress report (NCE 14/28 December) raises a serious question.

Was the inability of the local transport system to service further growth at Heathrow taken into account in the making of the decision to expand the airport in 2003?

Or the relative remoteness of Stansted and Gatwick?

Bearing in mind that all of the decisions taken then were based not on formulating a national strategy, but on local planning views, therefore those areas with the existing airports (and hence the employment) voted to extend them and those where new ones were planned objected.

It would appear that at present we have a 'national' strategy for the south east and a bit of tinkering north of Watford Gap that does nothing for those of us forced to travel south because we have little access to long haul ights in the Midlands.

No overall economic or environmental analysis has been undertaken to compare the current plans against the obvious alternative - the development of a new international hub in the Midlands - that would reduce the southbound traffic and hence the need for tolling of the M4/M25 near Heathrow.

Would it be too much to ask the Department for Transport to review the strategy and produce an analysis to show the relative economic and environmental costs of the developments at Stansted, Heathrow and Birmingham, compared with the rejected, but vastly superior, proposal that was made for Rugby?

Peter Styles, Kingsbury, peter_styles@msn. com

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