Transport Infrastructure

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 12:04 pm on 15th January 2009.

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Photo of Geoff Hoon Geoff Hoon Secretary of State, Department for Transport 12:04 pm, 15th January 2009

I have to make similar remarks to the hon. Lady as those I made to Norman Baker. The history of Heathrow is inevitably a history of expansion. It is a history that reflects the demands of the people of the United Kingdom and, no doubt, the demands of the hon. Lady's constituents, to travel on business, for pleasure and to visit family and friends around the world. The expansion of our airports is a direct result of the expansion of that demand. If the population of the United Kingdom did not wish to travel, airlines would not be providing services and, in turn, airports would not need to develop. I assume that she believes that only those who are sufficiently wealthy to afford ever higher air fares should be the ones who can take advantage of travel. That is not the position of the Government. We believe that we must respond to people's increased demand for travel in all ways, which is why it is important to put the statement about transport infrastructure in the context of what we have to do to satisfy that demand for travel in the 21st century. Sadly, her party's policy is mired somewhere in the 19th century.

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Garry Lelliott
Posted on 16 Jan 2009 1:11 pm (Report this annotation)

Well, there you have it folks, the history of Heathrow is one of expansion (not betrayal), the Liberal Democrats are mired in the 19th Century (before air travel was even possible), and the subject of the question, namely the 700 residents of Sipson, don't even warrant a response. As for the position of this Government, it has long been known that their 'position' is to pander to big business, no matter what damage is done to the local environment, economy or social fabric.