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Heathrow to review expansion plans

by Marco Cillario Mon 12 September 2016, 2:28 pm

Heathrow is revising its plans for a third runway, it has been revealed.

Weeks before the prime minister, Theresa May, is expected to take a decision on whether to allow the airport’s expansion, an alternative plan is being prepared.

The new plans would reduce expansion costs – currently estimated at £16.8 billion – by £3 billion and speed up delivery by a year, with the third runway opening by late 2024.

Heathrow's chief executive John Holland-Kaye confirmed that the airport was “working to bring the benefits of Heathrow expansion quicker and cheaper”.

The announcement comes days after a leaked Whitehall document, passed to Channel 4 News, revealed that collective responsibility might be waived on the airport expansion and the decision could be put to a free cabinet vote.

The airport’s revised plans would eliminate the 600m long, 14-lane tunnel for the M25 under the proposed third runway and explore other solutions, such as diverting the motorway around the airport.

A £1 billion rail transit system to carry passengers around the airport would also be axed.

Details on the new plans will be published later in the month.

Holland-Kaye said: “Leaving the EU means that it’s more essential than ever that we create trading links to the growing markets of the world and that Britain controls its own trade routes. Only expanding Heathrow, Britain’s biggest port, can do this. And it’s an urgent task if we are to action the prime minister’s vision of a strong and fair post-Brexit economy.”

May is chairing a cabinet sub-committee which is considering the matter and is pushing for a resolution by October.

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