The Chancellor’s recent budget contained some potentially good news for Heathrow’s expansion plans, but was condemned by Sadiq Khan as “the most anti-London for a generation”.
Heathrow welcomed the investment in electric vehicle infrastructure and the continuing war being waged by Government and the Mayor of London on diesel vehicles. Heathrow maintains that the key source of pollution around the Airport are the surface vehicles, particularly on the A4 and M4. The new measures proposed should reduce those emissions and give Heathrow a better chance of staying within limits when R3 is built.
A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Heathrow welcomes the Chancellor’s commitment to increase investment in sustainable modes of transport, targeting the real source of emissions – road vehicles. The Government’s pledge to establish a £400m electric vehicle charging infrastructure fund, investing an extra £100 million in Plug-In-Car Grant, and £40 million in charging R&D, will make it easier for more of our partners and colleagues to adopt greener transport options. Heathrow remains on track to reduce emissions from airport related traffic by at least 40% by 2020 and 60% by 2025 – a key ambition in the airport’s sustainability strategy, Heathrow 2.0. We look forward to seeing the government deliver this much needed boost.”
Meanwhile, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, condemned the Government for delivering “the most anti-London Budget in a generation” as he warned that “hammering London will not encourage growth elsewhere in the UK”.
Sadiq hit out at Philip Hammond for failing to deliver the measures he believes the capital needs to fix the housing crisis, and invest in future infrastructure.
He said: “The Government’s most astonishing failure today is on housing – today’s measures will not even paper over the cracks. The Chancellor did not announce a penny of extra grant for affordable housing in London – even though we know the current spending is less than a fifth of what we need. Everyone knows we need councils to be able to build more, but there was no commitment that any councils in London will be given the powers to do so. This Government is all talk and no action on housing.”
The Mayor welcomed support for Crossrail 2. However, he said that while the Chancellor committed £1.7bn for new infrastructure, there was no guarantee that London would receive a share of this. He said that half the money would be split between England’s six other regional and city-wide Mayors with the remainder to be allocated following a bidding process.
The Mayor has cautiously welcomed the “warm words” of support for Crossrail 2 but urged the Government to progress delivery of the scheme which is essential for the future prosperity of London and the south east.