YP Letters: Heathrow PR overblows value of third runway

From: Paul McGuinness, Chair, No 3rd Runway Coalition, London.

Will Heathrow's third runway benefit Yorkshire?

HEATHROW’S latest PR exercise, launching a tour of ‘potential’ sites that are on a long list to become ‘logistic’ hubs for construction of a third runway, is yet another plain attempt to secure support for its project, whilst back down in London, many are beginning to doubt its actual benefits.

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Wild claims by Heathrow about the economic benefits to the UK that a third runway would provide are being challenged by Parliament’s Transport Committee. The Department for Transport’s own analysis even claims a maximum gross benefit of £74.2bn from Heathrow expansion (less than the £75.3bn for Gatwick), with a “Net Present Value” (i.e once disbenefits are monetised) of between just £3.3bn, over 60 years, or a negative figure of minus £2.2bn.

Per head of population – even at the top of this range – this equates to no more than the price of a coffee at one of Heathrow’s many profitable outlets. Far from providing Yorkshire and other areas of the UK with the economic benefits claimed, Heathrow expansion will in fact cost taxpayers right across the UK over £10bn.

It could even be as high as £15bn – while transport in northern England is comparatively so underfunded.