MPs are set to vote on third runway this afternoon


Transport secretary Chris Grayling has made five promises about the delivery of a new runway at Heathrow ahead of today’s controversial vote.

Grayling (pictured) has urged MPs to seize the opportunity of targeting new overseas markets for British business and creating thousands of jobs, labelling it the “biggest transport decision in a generation”.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “This is a momentous vote that has been 50 years in the making and represents the biggest transport decision in a generation.

“At stake are thousands of new jobs and the country’s ability to compete on an international stage and win new global trade.

“We can be absolutely clear that this project will be privately financed and there will be no cost to taxpayers. And there will be cast iron legal protection to ensure the vital community and environmental measures are delivered.

“I hope colleagues from across the house will now put aside party and political differences to take a decision in the long-term national interest.”

Aside from ensuring that taxpayers would not foot the bill and guaranteeing promises would be legally binding Grayling pledged to ensure a significant economic boost and country-wide benefits via the scheme. He also promised to meet environmental goals.

Today’s vote in the Commons follows a government decision on 5 June to officially support the expansion of Heathrow through a new north-west runway – put forward in a proposed Airports National Policy Statement.

If approved, it will see the construction of the first full-length runway in the south-east since the Second World War.

GRayling’s five pledges

  • No cost to taxpayers – the new runway scheme will be privately funded and the government will work with industry to keep airport charges down
  • A massive economic boost to the country – new international routes, more than 100,000 new jobs, doubled freight capacity and benefits of up to £74 billion to passengers and the wider economy
  • Guaranteed benefits for the whole of the UK – commitment to about 15% of new slots for domestic routes, new rail links and new global opportunities for regional business
  • Environmental protection built-in – expansion to be delivered within existing climate change and air quality obligations and a new ban on scheduled night flights
  • Legal protection on commitments – Heathrow’s pledges to be legally enforceable, with punishment of unlimited fines or grounded planes if promises are broken