VIDEO: Mark Reckless speaks up for Hoo Peninsula during aviation debate

I was determined to rise to the challenge when the speaking time limit was cut from 7 minutes to 4 minutes in today’s Aviation Strategy Debate. It was almost as if repeated interventions from Bernard Jenkin, described as the only other person mad enough to support Boris’ scheme, were designed to time me out!

Thankfully our excellent Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle managed to get me in to speak (not sure if this meant cutting short Adam Afriye instead).

I was short of breath by the end. However, I hope that years spent living and breathing opposition to an Estuary Airport meant I was able to get in most of the key points.


12 responses to “VIDEO: Mark Reckless speaks up for Hoo Peninsula during aviation debate

  1. Totally disappointed with you Mark, you appear to be in the wrong party. according to you anywhere for expansion and growth but on our doorstep. so you support no infrastructure growth, no infrastructure improvements or requirements, you propose nothing at all for Rochester what so ever apart from not in my back yard. You mention Heathrow, it’s full up, so is the area, it’s a big pain to get to, there’s no infrastructure to get up to the capital in comfort, you keep missing that out. so forget about Heathrow. The locals don’t want another runway at Gatwick. Two is not enough. The locals don’t want expansion at Stansted. The south east needs a purpose build 4 runway airport. If those who work at Heathrow don’t want to come to Medway or the estuary to work, find others to take their place. I’m sure there will be lots and lots from Kent would love to work on their door step as apposed to queuing up to get up to the capital, taking sometimes 2 hours each way. Give us a break, think about expansion give the doldrums a miss.

    • Heathrow is not full up. It was designed for more than its current number of runways ( do you know how many? clue a very small number!). For its size it has the smallest number of runways of all the major European airports. Its easy to get to Heathrow, it is served by 3 motorways, I don’t see any on the Hoo peninsula. Perhaps you have never used the underground there, it is cheap and efficient a world beater. Would you care to even guess how much the equivalent on the peninsula would cost in time as well as money? For most people with the right skills they would have to move from outside, it would not benefit the people who currently live here. It would simply become more crowded. This area is already vibrant and is picking up, it is not the doldrums. Do you really live here? Boris did not think this through and neither have his supporters. In view of the above, and there is much more, I don’t think the NIMBY argument holds up.

      • heathrow is full, it’s a pain to get across London as I have been for many years, it has five terminals, serving two runways so how many terminals are you going to suggest? Plenty of room for expansion is there? don’t foget the arterial roads on it’s boundaries, close them and make way for expansion? Do you use the a2 m20 or the m25 in the rush few hours each morning and night? We need a lower road and rail crossing to compliment the new airport and help get the south east moving. Yes, born and bred in medway, 32 years in one property in Rochester with the daily grind upto the capital along with the rest. The day the new m2 and the hs1 including the fast trains upto the capital was a relief, the south east needs more. It’s infrastructure that is lacking, road rail and air. I am a local and I welcome the investment. Bring it on. Dismiss nimbyism, I saw that with the m2 and hs1. It was unfounded.

    • Mark Reckless MP delivered a powerful case against the Hoo Peninsula Aviation debate which is flawed beyond belief ,the cost of such a development & the exposure of noise pollution in this area would be astronomical , there would be loss in house values due to air traffic. We are so fortunate to have an mp who is committed to supporting the residents of medway towns who is principled, in his actions .

      • that’s a total nimby attitude the traffic will be taking off and landing off the coast, bearing in mind the prevailing wind is westerly that would mean most of the take are to sea. so where do you get house devaluation from, anecdotal evidence? Any idea how many planes overfly Rochester on their way to city airport, so the traffic from a estuary airport certainty wouldn’t be doing the same in any event.

  2. Dear Mark,There are many issues I’d like to discuss with yourself, some have been copied to Craig Mackinlay, Whilst I realise your schedule, it would be appreciated if you could call me when convenient, please don’t fall like Ann Barnes when never returning calls…Thank you and kind regards,Ian Hutchinson07785 975 777 Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network. From: Mark Reckless MPSent: Thursday, 24 October 2013 19:34To: ian.hdil@btinternet.comReply To: Mark Reckless MPSubject: [New post] VIDEO: Mark Reckless speaks up for Hoo Peninsula during aviation debate

    a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; }

    /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */

    markreckless posted: “Speaking in today’s backbench debate on the government’s aviation strategy, Mark Reckless MP delivered a powerful rebuttal to the wild claims being made by Boris Johnson and others regarding the proposed ‘pie in the sky’ hub airport in the Thames Estuary “

  3. Don’t care what you say we still need the airport and the jobs so here is one vote you have lost in 2015

  4. Thank you Mark, for fighting our cause so vehemently.
    There is no need for new airports. Just to satisfy a whim, “an idea that seemed good at the time”.
    The infrastructure ideas are severely flawed, affecting a much wider area than the peninsula. Perhaps some have not considered the wider picture.

  5. Thank goodness for Mark for speaking up and representing the people that live in the 9 sleepy villages he refers to. Expand an existing airport, don’t build a new one in a tiny corner of the UK that is a wildlife sanctuary, surrounded by sleepy villages who don’t want to wake up and be part of the future!

  6. Thank you Mark for such a splendid speech against all the odds. You have managed to make most of the relevant points despite a quite ridiculous time constraint. We note the number of MPs in the chamber (18 that are visible in that video) for such an important debate………..appalling!
    We have lived in the area for over 40 years and, given the industrial development, power stations, busy port traffic on our sparse road system plus the level of aviation traffic from City Airport and London Southend Airport which have been achieved in that time, it is ridiculous for contributors to say that there is a NIMBY attitude on the Hoo Peninsula. The environmental destruction and the phenomenal cost of an airport in the area renders the idea an absolute no go when there are other cheaper and less damaging alternatives.

  7. The potential future effect of aircraft and ATC developments on air transport aviation operation

    What does not seem to have been widely discussed is the future direction of aviation technology and it’s influence on airline operations. The single largest major driving factor in airline operation is economics (with safety) and for today’s 1st tier operators this is paramount. Air transport manufactures work closely with the operators to produce the air vehicles that are needed to meet future requirements which means that constant innovation is being aggressively pursued at every level and as this works through to the airline operations front then modes of flight planning will change.

    The Aircraft vehicle – consists of airframe, engines and avionics in which tremendous advances have and will be made into the future. We have seen the development of whole new classes of aircraft with the introduction of twin aisle a/c with 2 engines providing a bridge between the single aisle short haul and the traditional 4 engined long haul a/c bringing a new flexibility to airline operations. Frames are lighter (composites), engines are ever more efficient and the avionics industry have developed advanced ‘Fly by Wire’, safety, collision avoidance and navigational systems to assist spacial awareness. Not to forget forget the improved maintenance aspects leading to less frequent scheduled maintenance activity and greater vehicle availability.

    Air and Ground Traffic control – Introduction of the ‘Free Flight Programme’ for ATC and the increasing use of aircraft mounted ‘Visual Guidance Systems’ for low visibility flying and landing together with providing ground manoeuvring traffic aids.

    So the changing technology is a dynamic in the the overall operating equation and will have a significant impact on operations during any period needed to build new take off and landing capacity. Upgrades to existing equipments will happen if they improve overall running costs (spend to save). Another argument sometimes made is that aircraft are expensive and so an operator will keep it for for an extended life but most tier one operators sell and lease back their fleet so movement of aircraft through the food chain will increase in future and tier one operators will maintain lower average age fleets. Aircraft engines are increasingly supplied on ‘Power By The Hour’ arrangements to operators where the investment cost is spread over the period of use.

    The overall premise is that these technological developments have and will continue to have influence on the nature of airline operations which will alter the balance of airport utilisation into the future. The hub and spoke operation is of 1950’s vintage and has evolved in subtle ways since then and latterly with the rise of the low cost airlines. Heathrow has changed to cater with high volume long haul traffic with short hall drifting off to the low cost hauliers and rail as alternatives to final destinations. The Airbus A380 introduces the dynamic of allowing greater passenger numbers without increasing the number of gates. The highly efficient twin aisle long haul a/c (A330, A350XWB, B787 series & B777 series) give the ability of increased .point to point’ operations to airline operators. On a personal note having been a frequent flyer prior to retirement I can tell you that most hub airports are places to avoid (LHR, LAX, CHI, DWC to name but a handful) if you can get a ‘point to point’ then that’s the way to go. Of course the hub and spoke operation will not disappear but will decrease in importance over time to be supplanted by more point to point operation of these lighter more economical aircraft taking advantage of the new ATC advances to improve operating costs. It is my belief that we have enough hub and spoke capability for the future and that with existing or modifiable airports and increased utilisation factors at other existing geographical locations will support more efficient point to point operation thus reducing pressure on Heathrow.

  8. The Historic Environment Factors To Be Taken Into Account In Respect To The North West Kent Estuary Airport

    The CF Delft report entitled ‘The Economics of Airport Expansion’ prepared for the RSPB in March 2013 and submitted as evidence to the commission makes the point that the current CBA methods employed by the DfT do not apply cost estimates in relation to ‘biodiversity, landscape, water, townscape and heritage of historic resources’ (section 2.4.3 of the report). It is in the context of the heritage of the Hoo peninsular that I wish to make this submission.

    Generally speaking the greater Hoo Peninsular covering the area from the mouth of the Thames to Gravesend in the West and Rochester on Medway in the South is an ancient landscape and importantly is also one that is well preserved by accident of history. Evidence of habitation exists from Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age/Roman, Saxon and Medieval right up to modern day. Homing in on the Cliffe area of the peninsular there is evidence of it being part of an Iron Age Civitas centre followed by intensive Roman industrial and farming activities. Also central to this importance was the crossing (ford) to Essex making this an important trading centre, port and market place creating passing traffic to from East Kent via the Thames and Medway crossing’s. These factors of importance were to carry on and increase in significance during the Saxon period as described below.

    The county of Kent was first established in the 5th century by Jutish peoples as the two kingdoms of East and West Kent. The royal estates of West Kent were established at Hoo (villa regalis) but was supplemented by additional royal estates as the Saxon Heptarchy coalesced into the kingdom of England. Thus Hoo came under Mercian royal control, Bròmgeheg under Kent royal control and Cooling and Cliffe by Queen Eadgifu dowager queen to Edward the Elder King of England. This meant that the peninsular increased its importance not only as an administrative and trading centre (+ port) but also as defensive position to prevent incursion to the rivers of the Thames and Medway.

    The Hoo peninsular became of primary national importance with the reintroduction of Christianity by Augustine in 597 and the setting up of the dioceses of Canterbury, Rochester and London together with a parish peculiar at Cliffe at Hoo. The royalty donated lands to the Archbishop and the monastic establishments:
    The Hoo royal estate gave land to Peterborough Monastry (Connected with St Wurburgh).
    The Convent of Minster (St Sexburga wife of the King of Kent) given land at Grain.
    The Priory of St Andrew Rochester was given land at Bròmgeheg and Cliffe.
    The Archbishopric and Christchurch Priory given land at Cliffe and Cooling.
    Because of this the peninsula became the meeting point of Church and State bordering the Mercian, Wessex and Anglian Kingdoms and set the scene for the Great councils of State called the Councils of Cloveshoo to take place on the greater peninsular. The locations were at:
    Cloefs Hoas (Cliffe).
    Cilling (co-located to Cliffe)
    Chalkhythe (Chalk near Gravesend)
    Acleah (near Higham).
    Baccancelde (near Higham).
    Hou (Hoo).
    Heathfield (Stoke).
    All of these being within the area of the Greater Hoo Peninsular.

    The Hoo Peninsular is probably the most important forgotten Anglo Saxon site in England and it lies in largely undisturbed geographical landscape which will contain important archaeological evidence critical to understanding the founding of the English state. It remains undisturbed due to the decline of the areas importance due to the waves of plagues from 1348 onwards, malaria, silting of the port and the disposal of the church lands and properties post the reformation.

    This is only a very brief overview of some 7 years of study which is currently ongoing and will be placed in the public domain on final completion by a small group of amateur historians with some archaeological knowledge.

    The nationally important heritage factor needs to be taken into account on any decision in choosing the estuary airport as an option as not only the hub airport but also the vast infrastructure that would need to accompany it would obliterate this forgotten history and its Archaeology.

    Further reading:
    Hoo Peninsula North Kent coast Thames Estuary A palaeoenvironmental review of the development
    of the Hoo Peninsula English Heritage.

    There is a further overdue report due from English Heritage.

    Cliffe Airport Hoo Peninsula, Kent Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment Wessex Archaeology for Kent County Council 2002 County Archaeologists Office

    Cliffe at Hoo Historical Society

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s