As the government is preparing to announce a new runway for London the West Midlands MEP Daniel Dalton is calling on the Transport Secretary to put Birmingham at the heart of its future plans.
Mr Dalton said, “For Britain to prosper, especially in a post-Brexit world, we are going to need significantly more airport capacity. One new runway is unlikely to be enough.”
“The question shouldn’t be simply Heathrow or Gatwick, which arguably both need new runways, but how best of other parts of th country.”
Birmingham is the UK’s seventh busiest airport, despite serving the UK’s second busiest city and having nearly 80 per cent of the UK’s population within two hours of it.
Mr Dalton added, “It is has the space and ambition to expand and the capacity to do it quicker than any other option.”
“HS2, which will include a station at the airport, will make central London only thirty-five minutes away. This means that Birmingham will be, in travel time, closer to central London than Gatwick, or Stanstead airports.
By the same definition it will also be closer to Central London than Hong Kong, Singapore, or Melbourne airports are to the city centres they serve.”
“If Birmingham possessed a hub airport with direct high speed rail connections to central London, and ultimately to Manchester and Leeds, it would be a genuine game changer for the region and one of the biggest steps towards re-balancing the national economy away from London and the South East.”
“Birmingham is a city that has ambitions, as does the wider region in which it sits. A new metro-mayor will be elected next year and the city is bidding for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.