Research published today claims that if the country’s largest airport was cleared for expansion that up to 27,000 jobs nationally to relocate to London and the south-east from UK’s other regions if airport expanded, something it claims will see £43bn dragged out of regional economies.
It also show the expansion would introduce an additional four million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent into the economy, equivalent to 100,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector.
Dr Alex Chapman, researcher at the New Economics Foundation, said: “When the decision to approve Heathrow expansion went in front of parliament, MPs were given virtually no information on the distribution of costs and benefits across the UK’s wider regions.
“Our three Freedom of Information requests show that the Department for Transport could, and should, have given a far more detailed picture.
“We already know that expanding Heathrow throws fuel on the fires of the climate emergency.
“This new data shows it is also likely to drive regional inequality in the UK economy – the very opposite of levelling up. Heathrow expansion moves jobs and productivity to London and the south-east and, in a carbon capped world, it also threatens our ability to deliver a just transition for workers.
“With the majority of workers in other carbon intensive sectors based outside London and the south-east, this represents a double blow to the regions.”
Paul McGuinness, chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition campaign group said: “While government has acknowledged that Heathrow expansion will come at the expense of regional airports, it is the sheer scale of the projected negative impacts upon the regions’s wider economies that has taken out breath away.
“It suggests that expansion of Heathrow will be an assault on the regions, locking in South East advantage, at the expense of every other part of the country.”
A Heathrow spokesperson said: “The reason for overwhelming support from nationwide business chambers and regional airports for Heathrow expansion is because our proposals will deliver for every corner of this country while meeting the most stringent environmental targets.
Only by expanding Heathrow can the Government deliver its promise of levelling up the country through economic prosperity, whilst fulfilling the Prime Minister’s vision of a Global Britain. Heathrow is the biggest port handling 40% of this country’s exports and connects every region in the country to global markets. As long as Heathrow remains constrained and this debate continues, the UK will continue to hand global connectivity and trade to our European competitors.”
Heathrow’s third runway could potentially result in 11,200 jobs for the region, it has been previously claimed.
The airport’s chairman Lord Deighton said that the runway could bring in excess of £60bn economic stimulus to the regions outside London and the South East, £9bn of which would be felt in Yorkshire.
Yorkshire has 11 locations in the running to become one of the airport’s four regional hubs, which are being set up to help deliver Heathrow’s expansion.
He added that the runway could increase more flights from Yorkshire to Heathrow.