NEF says R3 will cost economy £5bn

The New Economics Foundation have published a report which argues that a third runway at Heathrow would cost the economy £5bn.

Their analysis, using “Social Return on Investment”, a NEF concept, uses the same economic modelling program as the Department for Transport (DfT), say NEF, but updates the input data on economic growth rates, exchange rates, carbon prices, fuel prices and other variables.

They also estimated the costs of a new runway to the local community. This included re-visiting the DfTs estimates for noise disturbance and air pollution, and for the first time, calculating the cost of additional surface congestion and community blight.

The report “Grounded: A new approach to evaluating Runway 3”, written by Helen Kersley, from NEF, who spoke at the Place West London Conference in October last year, says that a third runway at Heathrow would leave the UK economy £5 billion worse off, almost exactly the opposite of the DfTs prediction of a £5.5 billion net benefit. The £5 billion cost estimate includes negative impacts on the local community valued at £2.5 billion, which contrasts with the DfT estimate of £0.4 billion.

Ian Cheshire, Group CEO of Kingfisher, parent company of B&Q, says in the foreword for the report: This establishes robust, well-rounded evidence … that the case for a third runway at Heathrow is at best incomplete and at worst completely flawed”.

See the NEF report here.

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