Letters to the Editor - 18/12 - Airport capacity, End of teaching, Best of Twitter

Airport capacity

[Re: Boris Island misses out on new runway shortlist, yesterday]

An airport at the Thames Estuary is the most logical option, and it is disappointing that the proposal was excluded from the Davies Commission’s shortlist yesterday. We need to accept that the alternatives present too many complications. The political and environmental obstacles to Heathrow expansion are insurmountable. Gatwick cannot even start construction work until 2019, when the local council will allow it. Stansted has already received local rejection. And it is too far from London, meaning there’s a risk it would be under-utilised.

Name withheld


End of teaching

[Re: Four reasons to be happy about the end of teaching, yesterday]

This is an important announcement. But we should beware the message that computers will “replace” teachers. The traditional Socratic model of education still works very well at small scale. And one of the endemic problems with modern education is that we don’t have enough good teachers to go around. So this model should be more about supplementing teachers, rather than replacing them. But it will be difficult, as it requires the emergence of a complex vertical software industry. I shall be watching with great interest.

Crispin Weston



I live in Richmond, and I know why the noise frustrates people. But it’s not a £100bn problem.

Four runways to the west of Heathrow would be the most cost-effective, long-term option.

Inflation in November down to 2.1 per cent. But didn’t include gargantuan utility or energy price increases!

My concern: mortgage approvals 45 per cent below 06-07 peak, but UK house index above 07-08 peak.