Business leaders tell government to act now on runway

heathrow control tower sunsetA group of business leaders has said, in a letter to the Sunday Times, that it is “unacceptable” that the government has not yet responded to the Davies Commission’s interim report.

The report, delivered in December, said that the UK needed at least one more runway in the south east to deliver the capacity needed to grow the economy.

The letter, from around 70 signatories, says that the Government “should now follow through with the commitments it made (when establishing the Commission), and take the tough decisions that Britain needs if it is to retain its international economic competitiveness”.

The letter says the six month delay from the report’s publication “looks like wavering” on the part of the Government.

In an attack on the Government’s inability to take a decision on the matter, and their attempt to postpone any decision until after the General Election, it continues: “Political procrastination on a decision to build new runways is strangling the long-term growth potential of the British economy.

“It is lack of political leadership that is causing Britain’s international connectivity to fall behind that of our competitors.”

The signatories ask that all parties express a clear commitment to be guided by the Airports Commission’s final report, “including a commitment to build new runways”, and urge a public statement on this issue before the end of July.

The signatories come mainly from the worlds of property and retail, and include: David Sleath, SEGRO; Mark Bensted OBE, Managing Director, Powerday PLC; Ian Durant, Chairman, Capital & Counties Properties PLC; Surinder Arora, CEO and Founder, Arora Holdings Ltd; Sue Brown, Senior Managing Director, FTI Consulting; Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry; as well as John King, House of Fraser; John Allan, Dixons Retail; Sir Adrian Montague, 3i Group; Toby Courtauld, Great Portland Estates; Samir Brikho, AMEC; Mike Turner CBE, Chairman, Babcock International Group; David Partridge, Managing Partner, Argent LLP; Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive, Mace Group; Andrew Murphy, Retail Director, John Lewis Partnership; and Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP.

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