The third runway at Heathrow will be one of the biggest construction project in Europe and will be important for the construction sector as a whole. As a sector we need to have certainty’s to grow our businesses. However, in order to truly unlock the business potential for the UK there are a lot of improvements that need to be made to road and rail links if we are not going to get more people to come to the UK, only for them to then sit in a traffic jam or stand on a station.
It took 20 years but finally Chris Grayling, the transport minister, confirmed at the beginning of this month that the new runway will be going ahead. The principal argument stated in favour of expanding Heathrow is to enhance the economic growth of the UK. As the UK’s major hub airport, Heathrow is able to attract many transfer passengers and so is able to support a very wide range of direct flight destinations at high frequencies. It is the world’s second busiest airport based on number of international passengers. Heathrow’s connectivity helps London and the South East compete with other European cities for business investment, which in turn produces economic benefits for the rest of the UK. Heathrow is currently the busiest airport in Europe and the seventh busiest in the world (78,012,825 passengers in 2017). It hosts 81 airlines and serves 204 destinations in 85 countries. In 2012 it was the 3rd largest airport.
The new (3rd runway) at Heathrow is expected to be completed by 2026 with an estimated cost of £15 billion to be funded privately. However in addition to this there will be required upgrades to road and railway networks; the burden of financing this will fall on Transport for London and has been predicted at up to £18 billion of taxpayers money. The current plans require the M25 to be rerouted as the runway goes right over it. The M25 will then go into a tunnel under the runway, 150m west of its current route. It is also predicted that 700 homes, a church and 8 Grade II-listed buildings may have to be destroyed. Furthermore the high street in Harmondsworth may have to be split, and there are also questions over the future of the village of Sipson.