The Chamber of Commerce for West London, which represents some 800 businesses in the area, has come out firmly in support of Heathrow’s proposals to the Davies Review.
“We’ve been consistent in our support for expansion at Heathrow,” said WLB Chief Executive, Frank Wingate. “It represents the most sensible solution to the UK’s lack of hub airport capacity – on both transport and cost grounds.”
He said WLB was not convinced by the Mayor’s alternative options for siting a newly built hub airport in the Thames Estuary or Stansted.
He pointed out the damage that would be done to the West London and Thames Valley economies by closing down Heathrow. It would mean the loss or relocation of some 176,000 jobs on, or related to, the airport and significantly harm business investment prospects.
“This is a major portion of West London’s 700,000 jobs and it seems to us that the negative impact of closing Heathrow on one the most dynamic business regions in the UK has not been thought through, and it appears naïve to think that you can simply rebuild a new community on the empty site when jobs and investment are stripped away,” added Wingate.
“The alternatives championed by the Mayor just don’t fit with the economic geography of the UK, nor do they stack up financially”, he said. “They wouldn’t suit passengers and would be prohibitively expensive at a time of economic uncertainty for the UK.”