September 2016 – Letter to Lord Deighton

Dear Lord Deighton,

I noticed with surprise and anxiety the press coverage over the weekend regarding changes to the Heathrow third runway scheme.

Whilst these are in some cases internal to the airport’s operation and do not change the fundamentals in terms of complexity, impact on local people and deliverability, I would be grateful if you could clarify one point at this stage.

At the moment the current Heathrow plan is to re-route the M25 in tunnel to allow for the new runway to cross the current line of route of the motorway. Your recent comments now open up the possibility that the M25 could in fact be diverted around the extended airport. You also spoke vaguely of a solution involving a bridge.

Given your lack of transparency – there is nothing on your website – I would be grateful if you could now confirm your intentions, in particular the impact on local people of this revision. As well as bringing more environmental misery to West London this plan would potentially cause serious gridlock on the busiest stretch of the busiest motorway in the country for up to a decade.

In particular, given that the Government has flagged a clear intention to make a decision on the recommendations of the Airports Commission in about October, may I know (a) whether the plan you will be putting to the Government for decision is the plan that was the subject of lengthy examination by the Airports Commission or the new one that has not yet been published and (b) what consultation with my constituents, many regular users of the M25, you intend to undertake before putting any revised plan to the Government.

Given the very short time now remaining before the Government reaches a decision, I look forward to hearing from you by return.

Yours sincerely,

Zac Goldsmith
Member of Parliament for Richmond Park and North Kingston