Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Dudley MP tells government: show some imagination and expand Birmingham Airport instead of Heathrow

Ian back expansion of regional airport over London

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Government ministers should show some imagination and back Birmingham Airport instead of expanding Heathrow, Dudley North MP Ian Austin told Parliament today.

Speaking in a debate following the government’s decision to back a new runway at Heathrow, Austin told Transport Secretary Chris Grayling that backing Birmingham Airport could boost the West Midlands economy and bring new jobs and growth to the region.

He said the airport’s location in the middle of the country and on the motorway and mainline rail network made Birmingham the most accessible airport in the country.

And he said that if the government had backed his calls to use HS2 to directly link Birmingham to Heathrow, it would have been almost as quick to get between the two airports than it is to travel from central London to Heathrow at the moment.

Ian Austin said:

“The government talks about boosting growth in the regions but it is the same old story with the bulk of the investment, benefits and jobs going to London and the South East.

“Ministers should have shown some imagination and backed Birmingham Airport and if they had used HS2 to link the airport to Heathrow as I suggested, it would have been just about as quick to get between the two airports as it would be to travel from central London to Heathrow at the moment.

“Imagine the boost that would give the West Midlands - it would have meant we’d get our fair share of the economic growth and thousands of extra well-paid jobs airport investment could bring. Instead, as usual, the bulk of the spending and the jobs will go to London and the South East.”

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