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Tory MP says build Thames Estuary airport and turn Heathrow into a city
12:00pm Tuesday 29th October 2013 in News
AN Essex MP has thrown his weight behind proposals for a new super airport in the Thames estuary - even though it would spell the death of Heathrow.
Tory Bernard Jenkin said more runways at Heathrow will never happen.
The Harwich and North Essex MP said massive opposition in west London meant it would be political suicide for any mayor to back it.
He told Parliament: "Have we not learnt from the fact that, although every member of the last Government was absolutely committed to getting that proposal through, it did not go through?
"That was due to the sheer scale of opposition from west London constituencies."
Mr Jenkin said the capital urgently needed a four-runway airport and all logic pointed to the Thames estuary.
He said: "Not a single objection has been raised to a Thames estuary airport - not cost, not bird strikes, not sea level rise."
Mr Jenkin said 750,000 were affected by loud noise levels around Heathrow, but almost no-one will be living under such a noise level around the Thames estuary airport.
The Conservative politician, speaking during the House of Commons aviation deabte, said the location also had ideal transport links and a new airport would help regenerate east London.
Mr Jenkin said during the closing Heathrow would be a massive decision but not a catastrophe.
He said: "It is an opportunity to create 250,000 new homes west of London — a new hi-tech city that has all the infrastructure already in place.
"It is a huge opportunity to solve the shortage of housing problem in London, and to drive growth west of London, not to close it down.
"In this age, nobody in their right mind would choose to put London’s hub airport where Heathrow is located.
"There only needs to be one accident, and we nearly had that a few years ago when the airliner with frozen fuel came down on the edge of the runway.
"If it had come down half a mile short of that spot it would have landed on a densely populated area and people would be crying out for the airport to be closed on safety grounds."
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