Peter Lilley challenges Transport Minister

- Friday, 19th December 2003

 

Yesterday in Parliament, Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, urged Transport Minister, Alistair Darling, to ignore the threat of legal action by Luton Airport and to accept that there is huge opposition locally to the over-expansion of the airport to the size of Gatwick.

Peter Lilley said: "At Transport Questions yesterday, I urged Alistair Darling to ignore the threat by Keith Brooks, the head of TBI which operates Luton Airport, to sue the government if Luton Airport is frozen out of plans to expand air services in the South East.

"I asked the Minister to accept that there continues to be massive local opposition to over-expansion of the airport to the size of Gatwick and pointed out that there are no direct rail links to the airport, and that the overflying stacked above it means that it will be less safe than the other options he is considering.

"I reminded him that the airport is closed more frequently than any other airport serving London because of weather conditions, and that on the government‘s own calculations, development is the least cost-effective of the airport is the least cost-effective option of all those he is considering."

ENDS

Note to editors.

The Minister said that he will be publishing his White Paper in December - presumably before the House rises on 18th December.

Extract from Hansard below:

Airports White Paper

7. Mr. Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden): When he plans to publish his White Paper on airports in the south-east of England. [138860]

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Alistair Darling): We expect to publish the air transport White Paper covering the whole of the UK next month.

Mr. Lilley : I am grateful to the Minister for his reply. When he publishes the White Paper, will he ignore the blustering threats of legal action by the operators of Luton airport and accept that there is massive local opposition-I have got another 1,000 signatures to add to the many that he has already received-to over-expansion of the airport to the size of Gatwick? There are no direct rail links to the airport, and the overflying stacked above it means that it will be less safe. The airport is closed more frequently than any other airport serving London because of weather conditions, and, on the right hon. Gentleman‘s own calculations, development is the least cost-effective option of all those that he is considering.

Mr. Darling: I am aware of the right hon. Gentleman‘s strong feelings about development at Luton because he has made them clear on previous occasions. My answer to him, as it will be to everyone else who catches your eye, Mr. Speaker, is that people just have to wait a short while longer before finding out our conclusions.

Yesterday in Parliament, Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, urged Transport Minister, Alistair Darling, to ignore the threat of legal action by Luton Airport and to accept that there is huge opposition locally to the over-expansion of the airport to the size of Gatwick.

Peter Lilley said: "At Transport Questions yesterday, I urged Alistair Darling to ignore the threat by Keith Brooks, the head of TBI which operates Luton Airport, to sue the government if Luton Airport is frozen out of plans to expand air services in the South East.

"I asked the Minister to accept that there continues to be massive local opposition to over-expansion of the airport to the size of Gatwick and pointed out that there are no direct rail links to the airport, and that the overflying stacked above it means that it will be less safe than the other options he is considering.

"I reminded him that the airport is closed more frequently than any other airport serving London because of weather conditions, and that on the government‘s own calculations, development is the least cost-effective of the airport is the least cost-effective option of all those he is considering."

ENDS

Note to editors.

The Minister said that he will be publishing his White Paper in December - presumably before the House rises on 18th December.

Extract from Hansard below:

Airports White Paper

7. Mr. Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden): When he plans to publish his White Paper on airports in the south-east of England. [138860]

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Alistair Darling): We expect to publish the air transport White Paper covering the whole of the UK next month.

Mr. Lilley : I am grateful to the Minister for his reply. When he publishes the White Paper, will he ignore the blustering threats of legal action by the operators of Luton airport and accept that there is massive local opposition-I have got another 1,000 signatures to add to the many that he has already received-to over-expansion of the airport to the size of Gatwick? There are no direct rail links to the airport, and the overflying stacked above it means that it will be less safe. The airport is closed more frequently than any other airport serving London because of weather conditions, and, on the right hon. Gentleman‘s own calculations, development is the least cost-effective option of all those that he is considering.

Mr. Darling: I am aware of the right hon. Gentleman‘s strong feelings about development at Luton because he has made them clear on previous occasions. My answer to him, as it will be to everyone else who catches your eye, Mr. Speaker, is that people just have to wait a short while longer before finding out our conclusions.

Yesterday in Parliament, Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, urged Transport Minister, Alistair Darling, to ignore the threat of legal action by Luton Airport and to accept that there is huge opposition locally to the over-expansion of the airport to the size of Gatwick.

Peter Lilley said: "At Transport Questions yesterday, I urged Alistair Darling to ignore the threat by Keith Brooks, the head of TBI which operates Luton Airport, to sue the government if Luton Airport is frozen out of plans to expand air services in the South East.

"I asked the Minister to accept that there continues to be massive local opposition to over-expansion of the airport to the size of Gatwick and pointed out that there are no direct rail links to the airport, and that the overflying stacked above it means that it will be less safe than the other options he is considering.

"I reminded him that the airport is closed more frequently than any other airport serving London because of weather conditions, and that on the government‘s own calculations, development is the least cost-effective of the airport is the least cost-effective option of all those he is considering."

ENDS

Note to editors.

The Minister said that he will be publishing his White Paper in December - presumably before the House rises on 18th December.

Extract from Hansard below:

Airports White Paper

7. Mr. Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden): When he plans to publish his White Paper on airports in the south-east of England. [138860]

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Alistair Darling): We expect to publish the air transport White Paper covering the whole of the UK next month.

Mr. Lilley : I am grateful to the Minister for his reply. When he publishes the White Paper, will he ignore the blustering threats of legal action by the operators of Luton airport and accept that there is massive local opposition-I have got another 1,000 signatures to add to the many that he has already received-to over-expansion of the airport to the size of Gatwick? There are no direct rail links to the airport, and the overflying stacked above it means that it will be less safe. The airport is closed more frequently than any other airport serving London because of weather conditions, and, on the right hon. Gentleman‘s own calculations, development is the least cost-effective option of all those that he is considering.

Mr. Darling: I am aware of the right hon. Gentleman‘s strong feelings about development at Luton because he has made them clear on previous occasions. My answer to him, as it will be to everyone else who catches your eye, Mr. Speaker, is that people just have to wait a short while longer before finding out our conclusions.

 

 

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Peter Lilley challenges Transport Minister

 

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