Doncaster MP says third Heathrow runway is 'good for the north'

Doncaster MP Caroline Flint says the approval of plans for a third runway at Heathrow is 'good for Britain, good for Doncaster,' but adds that more investment must be now given to airports in the north.

Doncaster MP Caroline Flint says the approval of plans for a third runway at Heathrow is 'good for Britain, good for Doncaster,' but adds that more investment must be now given to airports in the north.

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Doncaster MP Caroline Flint says the approval of plans for a third runway at Heathrow is 'good for Britain, good for Doncaster,' but adds that more investment must be now given to airports in the north.

The government approved a third runway at Heathrow to expand UK airport capacity following a cabinet committee meeting on Tuesday.

Ms Flint said: “The decision to progress with a new runway at Heathrow is good for the North.

“This is decision is good for Doncaster, good for the North and good for Britain.

“It was always likely that Heathrow, one of the world’s great airports, would get the green light. This decision has taken too long as the Government have delayed and prevaricated. It is even more important this moves forward, and is not bogged down in endless legal disputes.

“Now I want the Government to balance this with complementary investment to improve access to regional airports; many of which have a stake in the growth of Heathrow, but need investment to improve access for passengers to benefit from that growth.”

Ms Flint, who has represented the Don Valley constituency since 1997, adds that London gains 24 times the investment in infrastructure than places like the North East, some £5,500 per head, to just over £200.

Steve Gill, chief executive of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, also welcomed the news.

He said: “Connectivity into the UK’s global hub is key to supporting economic growth of the regions and secured slots for regional services will ensure the economic benefit including inbound tourism are felt across the whole UK.

“Whilst this announcement is broadly welcome, the government has a real opportunity to fully utilise the role of regional airports in facilitating additional capacity further removing constraints on the South East and as economic assets in their own right.

“Our airport, one of the fastest growing in the UK is uniquely placed to take significantly more of the UK’s aviation capacity needs, thanks to the unconstrained expansion potential of our airport site for passengers and freight, with limited environmental impact and available air space.

“With our central UK location combined with the opening earlier this year of the new motorway link road from the M18 to the airport makes us well placed to deliver significant transport connectivity for our region and the wider country.”

Sheffield Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Richard Wright said: "There is no doubt the country needs more capacity, particularly in the South East, so its good that this project has moved a step forward.

"However, I remain concerned that this will not end up as a national investment, but as an investment purely focused on serving a relatively narrow market. I would like to see one of the conditions of approval being that sufficient slots are reserved at the airport for regional connectivity with airports like Doncaster Sheffield (DSA).

"For this investment to work for our region we need to be able to get regular services from DSA to Heathrow and then onto the long haul flights around the globe. Terminal 5 was originally approved with Heathrow promising these slots but they never materialised and we were left without. They should not be able to wriggle out of it this time."