Tag Archives: Boris Johnson

Mark Reckless launches No Estuary Airport campaign

Speaking on BBC Radio Kent, Mark Reckless MP discusses the launch of his No Estuary Airport campaign on the Hoo Peninsula today.

Please join the campaign by signing the online petition against a Thames Estuary airport – Click Here

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The right new infrastructure for the Hoo Peninsula

Secretary of State for Energy, Ed Davey MP, officially opens the new heatpipe in Grain

Today, as Boris held yet another event to promote his pie in the sky estuary airport proposal I joined Sec of State for energy, Ed Davey MP, to open a new heatpipe on Boris’s proposed runway four. We were joined by Simon Fairman, the National Grid manager who runs the largest gas import facility in Europe on Boris’s preferred runway one. He told me that it would cost at least £3bn to move and it was not clear where Boris wished to re-site it.

I have been telling Boris for some months that he has brought a third runway at Heathrow back onto the agenda by continually arguing that the only alternative is his pie in the sky estuary airport. I’ve worked with former Transport Minister Steve Norris, Zac Goldsmith MP and others to tell him that if he wants to stop a third runway at Heathrow he needs to push sensible options which might attract wider support. It may be, with his comments today about Stansted, that he is at last listening. If Boris now puts his full weight behind it I believe that there is a chance that a strong consensus could be reached, possibly by 2013, that a cross-rail spur to Stansted, with future expansion there is the best way forward.

Simon Fairman, of Grain LNG and Mark Reckless MP at the official opening of the new heatpipe in Grain

Simon Fairman, of Grain LNG, and Mark Reckless MP at the official opening of the new heatpipe in Grain

Ed Davey certainly got a good laugh at Boris’s expense this morning from the assembled energy big-wigs when he ruled out moving the new power station brick by brick to accommodate Boris’s flight of fancy.

The new heatpipe itself, linking two sites – E.ON’s £500m new gas-fired power station and National Grid’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal – is a great example of the right kind of new infrastructure on the Hoo Peninsula. The joint approach taken by National Grid and E.ON will help save up to 300,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road, making the gas-fired Grain power station one of the most efficient in the world.

Kent and Essex MPs welcome airport campaigners to Parliament

Mark Reckless MP welcomes RSPB and Friends of North Kenth Marshes to Parliament

Mark Reckless MP welcomes RSPB and Friends of North Kenth Marshes to Parliament

Rochester and Strood MP Mark Reckless and David Amess MP, member for Southend West, welcomed environmental organisations and campaigners to Parliament yesterday to discuss the case against a new airport in the Thames Estuary region.

The event, which was held in the Palace of Westminster’s Jubilee Room, brought together representatives from organisations such as the RSPB, Kent Wildlife Trust, CPRE,  Medway Council and Friends of North Kent Marshes to debate the issues surrounding the proposals. Guest speakers included Dr Mike Clarke, Chief Executive of the RSPB and Gordon Henderson, MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey.

The message coming out of the event was very clear: No Estuary Airport! Politically, environmentally and economically, the proposals presented for a new Thames Estuary airport are wrong for Kent and wrong for Britain.

Speaking after the event, Mark Reckless said:

“In fighting off these devastating airport proposals we are so incredibly lucky in Medway to have the support of the RSPB, an extraordinarily effective and powerful organisation, and such dedicated, consistent campaigners as George Crozer, Joan Darwell and Gill Moore of Friends of North Kent Marshes.

It was an honour to co-sponsor this event with David Amess MP, and I would like to thank everybody who spoke so passionately against these proposals. A Thames Estuary airport remains wrong for Kent and wrong for Britain.”

Letter to the Editor: No Estuary Airport

From today’s Daily Telegraph:

SIR – We believe that plans for an airport on or near the Thames Estuary should be grounded. The airport would cost up to £70 billion. Proponents say foreign backers would pay for this, but they go quiet when asked who would foot the bill for the road and rail links to London.

Aircraft using this airport would be 12 times more at risk of bird strike than at any other major UK airport. The airport would also be close to Thamesport, where huge container ships unload one fifth of the UK’s liquid natural gas supplies, as well as the proposed London Array wind farm and the wreck of SS Richard Montgomery, which is still packed with 1,400 tonnes of explosives.

The airport would also destroy an area used by 300,000 migrating birds every year, and would devastate the ecosystem of the Thames Estuary, which is of worldwide scientific importance. Great swaths of the countryside would have to be developed to make way for new roads, rail links, industrial estates, depots and hotels. Some have pointed to the economic benefits to north Kent and south Essex of such an airport, but the airport is still decades away and most of the jobs would be low paid.

Finally, this airport would have a drastic economic effect on our existing airports. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has admitted to MPs that the Government would have to legislate to force airlines to move from Heathrow. We believe there are better solutions to the UK’s aviation needs than an airport in the Thames Estuary.

Prof Germaine Greer
Chris Corrigan
Director (South East England), RSPB
Cllr Rodney Chambers (Con)
Cllr Nigel Holdcroft (Con)
Gordon Henderson MP (Con)
Gareth Johnson MP (Con)
Cllr John Kent (Lab)
Cllr Andrew Bowles (Con)
Graham Stringer MP (Lab)
Dr Julian Huppert MP (Lib Dem)
Cllr John Burden (Lab)
Cllr Alan Jarrett (Con)
Tracey Crouch MP (Con)
Mark Reckless MP (Con)
Rehman Chishti MP (Con)
Stephen Metcalfe MP (Con)
Nigel Farage MEP (Ukip)
Lord Bradshaw (Lib Dem)
Caroline Pidgeon AM (Lib Dem)
Murad Qureshi AM (Lab)
Darren Johnson AM (Green)
Nicky Gavron AM (Lab)

VIDEO: The case against a Thames Estuary airport

Joint letter to the Prime Minister regarding Thames Estuary airport

I, along with my fellow North Kent MPs, have today requested an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister in order that we may clarify the government’s position on the proposed new Thames Estuary hub airport.

Since the last Labour government first proposed building an airport at Cliffe, a scheme which I and many other local campaigners fought against successfully, the continuing possibility of a new airport being built in the North Kent region has been a constant source of anxiety to the residents and communities in our constituencies.

No Estuary Airport! Mark Reckless MP and Nirj Deva MEP with local Medway councillors

As recent polling has shown, there is little appetite amongst the general public for such a scheme. The arguments presented by Lord Foster and the Mayor of London, and their respective teams, simply do not stack up. We do not need another costly consultation at the taxpayers’ expense into an idea which has already been conclusively dismissed. A new airport in the Thames Estuary is wrong for the environment, wrong for the economy, wrong for Kent and wrong for Britain.

These are not just the views of my fellow North Kent MPs. I know of a number of MPs representing constituencies on the North side of the Thames Estuary which would be affected who also strongly oppose, and are campaigning against, these proposals.

We are urging the government not to proceed and asking that they should, instead, consider how we can fully utilise and improve the capacity of existing airports in the South East, and others such as Birmingham.

For our residents, our communities, our environment, and our future, it is now time for the government to drop these preposterous plans once and for all.