On 25 June I voted against the creation of a third runway at Heathrow Airport.
I did this for two major reasons: the environment and the North-South divide.
The world needs to reduce emissions in order to stop climate change and its catastrophic consequences. It is therefore blatantly counterproductive to expand Heathrow and generate an extra 300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. This is in addition to the environmental damage that would be done to the land around Heathrow if it was built on.
My second major objection to the third runway is that, once again, there is plenty of money available to invest in London, but never any for the rest of the country. There is already a chasm in terms of transport spending between London and the rest of the UK, especially with the north, and this is just the latest example of that disparity.
London already has three airports, but the government wants to spend an extra £14bn to expand its airport capacity. Meanwhile, in the north, we don’t have enough rolling stock for our trains, our railways are running on emergency schedules, and the trains we do have are decades older than trains used in London.
I believe that it is completely unacceptable to spend a single penny expanding London’s airport capacity, until the rail network in the north has been fixed and brought up to the standard that its residents deserve.
This is why, on 25 June, I voted against building a third runway at Heathrow. As a country, we need to tackle climate change and redress the economic imbalance between London and the rest of the country. Building another runway at Heathrow completely undermines those aims and reinforces the belief that the Government’s spending plans remain London-centric.