Government ‘not doing enough’ to boost UK infrastructure

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A new poll, published by YouGov, has revealed that the majority of those in Britain think the government is not doing enough to invest in the UK infrastructure

The poll shows that 57% of the public believe the government should be doing more to invest in national infrastructure to help the UK trade globally, while only 13% think the government is currently doing enough.

The poll, published a week after the Court of Appeal dismissed all but one claim in a judicial review against the government’s Airports National Policy Statement, also found that nearly one in two (46%) believe the government should work with Heathrow on plans which are already well progressed, rather than begin another process to choose another airport to expand.

46% also believe expanding Heathrow within stringent environmental tests is the best option. Just last month, the UK aviation industry produced a detailed plan setting out the path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, with Heathrow publishing its own pathway to net-zero in February.

A majority also agreed that the government needs to do more to connect UK communities to global trade opportunities, while only 15% think the government is doing a sufficient amount.

The findings come as the UK begins negotiations over its future trading relationships with the EU and the US. And central to the country’s ability to trade is the UK’s largest port by value – Heathrow.

CEBR report

A recent report from CEBR has found that over 40% of the UK’s exports to non-EU markets by value now pass through Heathrow – more than Southampton, Felixstowe and Portsmouth combined.

The airport moves more in a week than the next largest UK cargo airport does in a year. Expansion at Heathrow would provide up to a further 40 new long-haul routes to new markets, as well as doubling cargo capacity.

Heathrow has been clear that the ruling against the government is eminently fixable, given that the airport’s expansion plans can be delivered in accordance with the Paris Agreement. The Court clearly stated that the ruling does not mean the project is incompatible with the UK’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

Decisive action

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Campaign slogans are important for a general election, but now the country needs decisive action.

“The government can either keep waiting on the sidelines and watch France overtake Britain with the biggest airport in Europe within the next two years, or together we can take back control of our future trading destiny and build the global Britain infrastructure our country needs.

“Heathrow expansion will meet strict environmental targets and it won’t cost the taxpayer a penny. Britons understand that Heathrow expansion is exactly the type of project our country needs now more than ever – the government should heed their advice and help us move it forward at speed.”

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