Build HS2 to expand air travel
Jim Steer’s Greengauge 21 lobbying used to stress the value of high speed rail for ‘reducing aviation emissions’.
But Mr Steer’s High Speed Railway Industry Leaders Group appears to support aviation expansion, through airport high speed rail.
[Birmingham Airport expansion ‘being considered’ by Prime Minister Tamlyn Jones, Birmingham Post, 13 Sep 2016]
An expanded Birmingham Airport is being considered by Prime Minister Theresa May as a way to tackle the capital’s congestion in the skies, according to reports.
The Financial Times says Treasury Minister Jim O’Neill has urged Number 10 to consider the potential for growth at the airport once it is linked with London via high-speed rail line HS2.
Once up and running in 2026, journey times between the airport and and London are expected to be slashed to around 40 minutes [sic].
Lord O’Neill’s remit covers infrastructure and regional development and his intervention comes as the Cabinet decides whether to expand Heathrow or Gatwick.
Lord Davies eliminated Birmingham from his review at an early stage and argued there was not a strong case for expanding the airport.
His commission said in 2013 that Birmingham Airport would not be operating at capacity until the mid-2040s and its expansion would lead to an increase in noise for a relatively high number of people, the FT reported.
On 23 September, Lord O’Neill resigned from his ministerial post, and now sits as a crossbencher. But Theresa ‘may’ well end up handing Birmingham airport – and Heathrow – huge sums of public money.