Sunday 4 March 2012 11:26 pm

Coalition hits out on Heathrow

THE GOVERNMENT said yesterday it will not reconsider a third runway at Heathrow, batting away fresh claims from businesses and interest groups that more air capacity is desperately needed to support economic growth. “The government does not support the development of a third runway at Heathrow because of the unacceptable environmental consequences it would bring,” the department for transport said in a statement. “[W]e will explore all the options for maintaining the UK’s aviation hub status with the exception of a third runway at Heathrow.” The coalition is due to publish its views on the future of UK aviation later in the spring. Mayor of London Boris Johnson emphasised his opposition to the expansion of Heathrow yesterday. “I don’t think it’s right to build a third runway at Heathrow, and if you look at the other measures that are being proposed, the extra capacity they’re trying to load that into that airport, they’re trying to cram a quart into a pint pot,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show. However, independent mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita said she would lobby for expansion: “A third runway will bring thousands of new jobs to West London, which has seen a slowdown in job creation because of the focus on east London and the London Olympic facilities.”