Mayor defends stance on second runway at Birmingham

The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, has defended his stance on not supporting the building of a second runway at Birmingham Airport, insisting that the made this clear in his original Mayoral Manifesto.

The MP for Dudley, Ian Austin, has been been publicly critical of the Mayor, accusing him of failing to support the West Midlands by his disavowal of the need for a second runway at the regions’s biggest airport.

Following the vote in the House of Commons approving the third runway at Heathrow Airport, Mr Austin commented that it was “sad” that the Mayor had dismissed the case for a second runway at Birmingham Airport, adding “Andy hasn’t got the ambition to stand up for jobs and businesses in the region and our airport and argue with his Tory government in London.”

Three Black Country MPs voted against the decision to expand Heathrow.

Other West Midlands MPs urged the government to look to the West Midlands before agreeing to expand Heathrow, Emma Reynolds MP for Wolverhampton North East claimed that the Heathrow decision showed that the government had ” yet again failed to consider the economic needs of theWest Midlands region.”

In reply the Mayor pointed out that at Birmingham Airport “there are currently 11 million passenger journeys per year, and we can get to 30 million journeys per year with just one runway. Why would we tarmac over the green space around the airport if we do not need to?”

Street added: ” There are bold plans to expand and improve Birmingham Airport, enhancing connectivity and creating jobs. That does not involve building a runway when the airport is not even at 50% capacity. We’d be much better using the capacity we already have, and making sure the airport is well connected to the rest of the region.”


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