Calls made again for quicker improvements to Stansted Airport rail links as Government announces delay in runway decision

Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport - Credit: Archant

Stansted Airport bosses have called for the Government to take a step back from making the decision for a new runway in the south east after the announcement was delayed again.

Today (Thursday), Transport Secretary Patrick McCoughlin said that the decision on a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick will be made after the next leader of the Conservative Party is chosen.

The Davies Commission last July said airport expansion was needed by 2030 and recommended a third runway at Heathrow.

In December, the Department for Transport announced it wanted to investigate noise, pollution and compensation before the decision is made.

Mr McCoughlin told the House of Commons: “I had hoped that we would be able to announce a decision on airport capacity this summer.

“Clearly any announcement on airport capacity would have to be made when the House [of Commons] is in session and being realistic, given recent events, I cannot now foresee an announcement until at least October.”

A spokesman for Manchester Airports Group, which owns Stansted, said: “Today’s delay again highlights why Government must give priority to accelerating measures to make best use of the runway capacity this country already has, such as improving rail links to Stansted and encouraging new long haul connectivity across the country.

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“With no resolution in sight, now is also the time for Government to step back from the decision on runway capacity and let the market decide where and when new capacity should be delivered. Competition will always provide the best outcome for passengers and airlines.”