The “ramp runway” would be built over the M25 and the transport secretary says it would be “cheaper and quicker” than moving the M25.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4 today, Grayling said the development would be “a gentle hill” for planes to land on.
Heathrow has been brainstorming plans to build its new runway over the UK’s busiest motorway. It would be built on a hill rising eight metres, passing over the M25 on a bridge and thereby leaving the motorway in place – without touching it.
The airport had been exploring the possibilities of creating a tunnel for the M25 under the third runway and even diverting the motorway around a new runway in an effort to shave down costs.
Highways England had said a tunnel would cause a national shortage of contractors, delay roadbuilding schemes across Britain and cause huge frustration for drivers.
The government finally announced the decision on airport expansion yesterday after years of delay. Grayling said the decision was “truly momentous”, but others – including Zac Goldsmith, Conservative MP for Richmond, have deemed it a big mistake. Goldsmith resigned from his position yesterday.
Critics of the government’s decision have said discussion hasn’t focused enough on the issue of climate change.
Not sure what planet Chris Grayling is on,but this is just plainly absurd. No evidence backs this up. https://t.co/Vm1zlv5lWx
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) October 25, 2016
Existing UK legislation commits the government to chop CO2 levels by 80 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050. Aviation accounts for about six per cent of Britain’s emissions and to meet the legal target, aviation emissions would have to stay below the 2005 level.
The Independent Committee on Climate Change says this could be achieved with improvements in fuel and aircraft operational efficiency, as well as the wider use of biofuels.