Osbourne “pushes for” R3

The Chancellor is reported to be “pushing for a third runway at Heathrow airport” as part of the South East air capacity review.

The Independent on Sunday says that George Osbourne has persuaded David Cameron to place expansion at Heathrow “back on the table”. This would be likely to annoy LibDem coalition partners, and those like tranport secretary and MP for Putney Justine Greening who oppose Heathrow expansion.

The report suggests that Mayor of London Boris Johnson may be shifting his position, quoting him as saying during an interview: “Contrary to popular belief I am not the slightest bit wedded to some remote archipelago in the Thames estuary”.

It also raises the prospect of RAF Northolt being used as an extra Heathrow runway, an idea that surfaced in January  when reports emerged the MoD were reviewing the future of the air base.

However true the reports are, Heathrow expansion seems back on the agenda just a short time after being ruled out altogether by the then new Coalition government.

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