Saffron Walden MP says Boris Johnson’s extra Stansted runway call is ‘nonsense’

Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport - Credit: Archant

The renewed proposal for a second runway at Stansted Airport by Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has been dismissed as “quite eccentric” by Sir Alan Hazelhurst the Conservative MP for Saffron Walden.

Sir Alan told the Reporter: “It’s quite an eccentric proposal. The Davis Commission has already knocked it on the head and Boris is trying to resurrect it. I shall give him a piece of my mind. I have already told him that I don’t want to hear any more nonsense about Stansted and I shall tell him again.”

He added: “He’s been consistent as Mayor of London in opposing the extra runway at Heathrow and now (as the Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip) he has a constituency interest as well. He has a sovereign right to say that and I have a sovereign right to tell him he’s wrong.”

The Mayor of London has renewed calls for a second runway at Stansted to alleviate the UK’s air capacity problems. But Stansted even though it is the UK’s fastest growing airport, has plenty of capacity to expand even with just one runway.

In two years, it has increased its annual passenger numbers by four million, from 17.5million to 21.5million, but its current capacity is over 40million.

Yet Boris Johnson says expansion there should be reconsidered as it is a better option than a third runway at Heathrow.

He said: “You should see the map of the extra noise over London that will be produced by a third runway, you should see the modelling that Transport for London have done on the traffic impacts of vehicular pollution.

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“One of the things that interests me about Crossrail Two (which will run trains from Shenfield to Maidenhead, in Berkshire) is that it does open up the possibilities of Stansted.”

A spokesman for the Manchester Airports Group, which took over the running of Stansted Airport in 2013, said: “Whereas Gatwick and Heathrow are full. We don’t need a second runway. It would be better to make greater use of the facility we have and improve railway services to support that. Boris is right about Crossrail.”

Since the Manchester Airport Group (MAG) took over Stansted, a five-year, £260million improvement plan has been actioned at the airport with £80million currently being spent on the terminal building.

Expansion at Stansted was rejected by the Davies Commission into Airport Capacity in the UK in an interim report in February 2013. The commission’s full report into airport expansion is due to be released in the next month.