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Euro MP urges for a UK hub airport location before HS2 is developed
A EURO MP has urged the Government to make a decision on the location of a UK hub airport before it takes any further decision on HS2.
Conservative European MP for the South East, James Elles wrote in his weekly blog following the announcement of the second phase of the HS2 project to build north of Birmingham, linking London to Leeds and Manchester.
He said the announcement that there would be no decision yet about the link of HS2 to Heathrow "shone an unwelcomed ray of light in the current unacceptable delay in deciding how the fast developing lack of capacity of airport space in the South-East should be resolved."
The Department of Transport’s unconstrained demand forecasts predicted Heathrow will need a third runway by 2020 and a fourth by 2030, while Gatwick will require a second runway by 2030.
Mr Elles said: "If the UK wants to be a real player in the global race of tomorrow, we must not lag in building the most effective and efficient infrastructure.
He said the UK should learn from the Continent which has hub airports such as Frankfurt am Main, Charles de Gaulle and Schiphol, where incoming global passengers can easily transfer through high-speed rail to other European destinations.
He added: "What makes absolutely no sense whatsoever is to steam ahead with announcing high speed rail projects, going across mostly Conservative held seats, without having any idea where the major hub airport is ultimately going to be placed.
"The sooner that decision is taken – including the real possibility of the Thames Estuary project – the better. Britain will be able to feel confident about its place in the global race of the 21st century. Until this decision is taken, any steps to establish HS2 should be frozen."
James Elles’s blog can be read at: www.jameselles.com
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