I voted against the construction of a third runway at Heathrow in Parliament on 25 June 2018. As Member of Parliament for Walsall South, I want to support local jobs and services and Birmingham Airport.
I consider that any airport expansion must meet four tests: that it can effectively deliver on capacity demands, that noise and air quality issues are fully addressed, that the UK’s climate change obligations are met in full and that growth across the country is supported. The Government have failed to demonstrate that its proposals for a third runway pass these tests.
I am concerned that airports like Birmingham Airport would lose around 17 million passengers per annum as Heathrow’s share of the UK aviation market rises from 21% today to 27% in 2050, according to figures from the Richmond Heathrow campaign.
The Department for Transport’s own forecasts in 2017 state that Birmingham Airport would lose 24% of its projected yearly fights by 2040 if the third runway goes ahead. This means that there would be 43, 000 fewer flights to Birmingham Airport by 2040.
Many of my constituents use and also work at Birmingham Airport. Improving transport connectivity for the West Midlands is vital. Any expansion of a regional airport, alongside HS2, would bring much greater benefit to the people and economy of the West Midlands than an expanded Heathrow ever could.
The Result of the vote was: Ayes: 415, Noes: 119.